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Vol. II 
















V . 2- 




Preface . . . . . . . ' . xi-xlviii 

Chronological List xlix-lii 

The Story of the Ere-dwellers . . . 3-186 

Chapter I. Herein is told how Ketil Flatneb fares to 

west-over-sea ..... 3 
II. Of Biorn Ketilson and Thorolf Most- 
beard 5 

III. Thorolf Most-beard outlawed by King 

Harald Hairfair ..... 6 

IV. Thorolf Most-beard comes out to Iceland 

and sets up house there ... 7 

V. Biorn Ketilson comes west-over-the-sea, 

but will not abide there . . .10 

VI. Biorn comes out to Iceland . . .10 

VII. OfthekinofKiallak . . . .11 

VIII. Of Thorolf Halt-foot .... 13 

IX. Of Thorstein Codbiter. Battle at Thorsness 

Thing ....... 14 

X. Peace made . . . . . .16 

XL Of Thorgrim the Priest. The death of 

Thorstein Codbiter . . . .18 

XII. Of Arnkel the Priest and others . , 19 

XIII. Of Snorri Thorgrimson . . . .21 

XIV. Snorri gets Holyfell 24 

XV. Of Snorri the Priest. Of the MewHthe-folk 26 

XVI. Gunnlaug is witch-ridden. Geirrid sum- 
moned. Of Thorarin . . . .28 

XVII. Strife at the Thorsness Thing : Snorri goes 

between ...... 30 

XVIII. Men will ransack at Mewlithe : Thorarin 

falls to fight ...... 31 



Chapter XIX. 




























The Lay of the Mewlithers ... 38 
The end of Katla and Odd ... 44 
They take rede about the blood-feud . 49 
Snorri summons Thorarin . . .5° 
Of Vigfus and Biorn and Mar. . . 52 

Of Eric the Red 54 

Of Vermund and Thorarin in Norway : of 
those Bareserks . . . . -55 

Of Vigfus and Swart the Strong. The 
slaying of Vigfus .... 60 

Arnkel takes up the blood-feud for 
Vigfus ...... 62 

Of the Bareserks and the wooing of Asdis, 
Stir's daughter ..... 66 

Of Thorod Scat-catcher and of Biorn 
Asbrandson, and of the slaying of the 
sons of Thorir Wooden-leg . . -71 
Of the evil dealings of Thorolf Halt-foot . 75 
Of Thorolf Halt-foot and Snorri the Priest 79 
The slaying of Ulfar : Thorbrand's sons 
claim the heritage . . . .82 

Of the death of Thorolf Halt-foot . . 86 
Thorolf Halt-foot walks : the second burial 
of him ...... 89 

Arnkel slays Hawk . . . . .92 

Thorleif would slay Arnkel, and is slain 94 
The slaying of Arnkel .... 95 

The blood-suit for Arnkel . . .101 
Of Thorleif Kimbi and his dealings with 
Arnbiorn . . . . . .101 

Of Biorn, the Champion of the Broad- 
wickers, and his dealings with Thurid 
of Frodis- water . . . . .104 

Of Thorleif Kimbi and Thord Wall-eye . 108 
Thorbrand's sons make an onslaught on 
Arnbiorn . . . . . .110 

Of Egil the Strong . . . ' . .112 
The battle in Swanfirth . . . .118 

The battle in Swordfirth . . . . 123 

The peace-making after these battles . 130 

Contents. vii 


Chapter XLVII. Of Thorod Scat-catcher and Snorri and 
Biorn the Champion of the Broad- 
wickers ...... 131 

XLVIII. Of Thorbrand's sons in Greenland . 135 
XLIX. Of the coming of Christ's faith to Iceland 135 
L. Of Thorgunna, and how she came to 

Frodis-water . . . . -136 

LI. It rains blood at Frodis-water. Of 
Thorgunna, and how she died and was 
buried at Skalaholt . . . -139 
LII. The beginning of wonders at Frodis- 
water 145 

LIII. Now men die at Frodis-water. More 

wonders 145 

LIV. The death of Thorod Scat-catcher : the 

dead walk at Frodis-water . .148 
LV. A door-doom at Frodis-water . .150 
LVI. Of Snorri the Priest and the blood-suit 

after Stir. ..... 153 

LVII. Of Uspak of Ere in Bitter, and of his 

injustice . . . . . -157 

LVIII. Uspak robs Alf the Little. Thorir 

chases Uspak . . . . .161 

LIX. Uspakandhismen at the Strands. They 

give up their work . . . .163 

LX. Uspak goes back to Ere in Bitter : he 

robs and slays . . . . .164 

LXI. Snorri sends for Thrand the Strider . 166 
LXII. Snorri and Sturla win the work at Ere 

in Bitter 168 

LXIII. Of the walking of Thorolf Halt-foot. 
He is dug up and burned. Of the 
bull Glossy . . . . -171 
LXIV. The last tidings of Biorn the Champion 

of the Broadwickers . . -179 

LXV. The kindred of Snorri the Priest ; the 

death of him ..... 183 



Appendix A. 
The Children of Snorri the Priest 



The Story of 
part is left 
Chapter XVI. 

























Appendix B. 

the Heath-slayings, of which only a 


Matter 191-199 

Thorarin bids Bardi concerning the 

choosing of men . . . '199 
Of Bardi's way-fellows . . . 203 

Of Bardi and his workman Thord the 

Fox ...... 205 

Concerning Thord the Fox . . . 206 
Of the horses of Thord of Broad-ford . 208 
Bardi gathers in his following . . 209 
Of the egging-on of Thurid . .212 

How foster-father and foster-mother 

array Bardi . . . . .215 
Of Thorarin's arraying . . .217 

Of Bardi's two spies . . . .221 
Portents at Walls . . . .223 
The slaying of Gisli .... 227 
The call for the chase . . .230 

The chasing of Bardi .... 232 
The first brunt of battle on the Heath 234 
The second brunt of battle and the 

third 238 

Bardi puts away his wife . . .241 
The speaking out of truce . . . 244 
Snorri tells the whole tale . . . 247 
Bardi's affairs settled .... 248 
Bardi fares and is shipwrecked . . 250 
Bardi's abiding with Gudmund . .252 
Eric's song on the Heath-slayings . 253 
Bardi goeth to Norway and afterwards 

to Iceland again .... 254 
The second wedding of Bardi . . 256 
The end of Bardi . . . .258 



Notes .... 
Index I. Persons. 
II. Places . 
III. Subject-matter 





THE present volume of the Saga Library 
contains two important sagas — the " Eyr- 
byggja saga," which we call the E re- 
dwellers' story, and the " Hei^arviga saga/' the 
Story of the Heath-slayings ; the former a complete, 
the latter a fragmentary record of the events to 
which they refer. 

I. The Ere-dwellers' Story is in character a 
mixture of a saga, or dramatically told tale, and a 
chronicle record of events outside its aim and pur- 
pose. It differs from all other Icelandic sagas in 
having for a central hero a man of peace, yet at the 
same time revengeful and ruthless when he sees 
his opportunity, always cool and collected, dis- 
simulating, astute, scheming, and unmistakably 
hinted at as one devoid of courage. Snorri the 
Priest figures throughout the story up to the death 
of the nobly chivalrous Arnkel, when we except 
his clever outwitting of his cowardly uncle and 
stepfather, Bork the Thick, as distinctly a second- 
rate chief, above whom Arnkel towers to such an 
extent that all the interest of the narrative centres 
in him. Even when Arnkel is removed in a most 
ungallant fashion, Steinthor of Ere bids fair to 
eclipse Snorri altogether; and it is first when peace 

xii Preface. 

is made after the fights in Swanfirth and Sword- 
firth, a peace to which Steinthor held loyally ever 
afterwards, being a man of wisdom and modera- 
tion, that Snorri becomes the real central figure of 
the saga, and remains so to the end. Yet this pres- 
tige he owed entirely to the alliance of his turbu- 
lent and, at times, highly disrespectful foster- 
brothers, the sons of Thorbrand of Swanfirth, 
who, on the ground of his want of courage and 
directness, goaded him first unto the slaying of 
Arnkel, and again into the second brunt of the 
battle of Swanfirth. 

The interest of the narrative centring thus 
rather in groups of actors than in single persons, 
when we except Arnkel and Biorn the Broad- 
wickers' Champion, who both drop out of the story 
long before it comes to an end, the author himself 
has looked upon it as a histoi'ia tripartita, in calling 
it at the end, the Story of the Thorsnessings, the 
Ere-dwellers, and the Swanfirthers, under which 
names we find it variously referred to in Icelandic 
writings of olden times. Curiously enough, the 
popular mind has preferred to connect it exclu- 
sively with the family which takes the least promi- 
nent part in it ; hence Eyrbyggja saga, or Ere- 
dwellers' story, is the title given to it in all the 
MSS. which contain it. 

Between our saga and the Landnamabok there 
is a close connection. The genealogies agree ab- 
solutely in both records, so far as they go in our 
saga ; and in this respect the Landnama is un- 
questionably the source. The author of our story 
himself even hints as much. In chap, vii., men- 

Preface. xiii 

tionlnof that Thorolf Mostbeard married in old acfe 
a woman called Unn, he goes out of his way to 
state that Ari the Learned does not, as others do, 
mention her amono- the children of Thorstein the 
Red ; and this is just what the Landnama does 
not do. 

In the biographical notices which in both works 
are attached to the names of the first settlers and 
their immediate descendants, a distinct unity of 
tradition is clearly traceable, yet the discrepancies 
are such as scarcely to warrant the supposition 
that our saga drew, except to a slight amount, its 
information from Landnama, while, on the other 
hand, the Landnama has, at least in one instance, 
drawn for information on the E re-dwellers' story. 
It should be borne in mind that the Landndma, 
as we now have it, is the work of no less than five 
authors. Originally it was written by two contem- 
poraries, Ari and Kolskegg, each popularly named 
" hinn fro^i," the learned, the latter writing the 
history of the land-takes for the quarter of the 
Eastfirths, the former doing all the rest. This 
joint work was again edited, with some additions no 
doubt, by Styrmir hinn fro^i, prior of ViSey, ob. 
1245, and later by Sturla Thordson, ob. 1284, the 
author of Islendingasaga, the great history of the 
Sturlung period, and other works. These two 
editions of the original work, independent of each 
other, Hawk " the justiciary," son of Erlend, ob. 
T334, amalgamated into one book in such manner 
that whatever was stated more fully in either copy 
he embodied in his own, adding apparently no- 
thing beyond bringing his own genealogy down to 

xiv Preface. 

date. How far the two thirteenth century editors 
respectively added to and interpolated the original 
work, beyond augmenting it with their own genea- 
logies down to their lifetime, is now difficult to 
decide in many cases ; in some the interpolations 
are easily traced. 

Naturally it is mostly in the first twelve chapters 
of our saga that the affinity with Landnama shows 
itself, they being concerned with the first settlers 
and their immediate descendants that come into 
our story. The chief discrepancies between the 
two records on these people may be briefly noticed. 
Concernine the westernmost of these families, the 
Ere-dwellers, our saga only knows that Vestar 
Thorolfson brought his old father with him to Ice- 
land, settled land east, or, as other recensions of it, 
probably more correctly, have it, west of Whale- 
firth, dwelt at Ere, and had a son, Asgeir, who 
dwelt there after him (ch. vii.). But the Land- 
nama, ii. 9, knows that Vestar also had for wife 
Svana, daughter of Herrod, that he settled the 
lands of Ere and those of Kirkfirth,^ and that he 

^ Vestar's nearest neighbour to the west was Heriolf, son of 
Sigurd Swinehead, and he, according to Landnama, took land 
between Bulands-head and Kirkjufjor^r, Kirkfirth (ii. 9, p. 91). 
This, according to Landnama's constant method, means that 
Heriolf made his own the western, Vestar the eastern littoral of 
this firth, the natural boundary between their landtakes being 
the river, or one of the rivers, formed by the watershed of the 
valley which stretched inland up from the bottom of the bay. 
The locality of this bay is much in dispute. The name itself 
cannot be the original one, for both the neighbouring settlers 
were heathens, coming from Norway. That the description of 
the landtake of these two settlers is due to Ari the Learned 
seems removed beyond all doubt. He descended from the 

Preface. xv 

and his father were laid in howe at Pateness, so 
called, no doubt, after Vestar's father, whose name 

Broadfirthers, lived the first seven years of his life at Holy fell, and 
spent, in all probability, the largest part of it in the Snowfellness 
district. He must, therefore, have had it on good authority 
that the landtakes of the two settlers met in Kirkfirth. Now 
the firth meant by Landnama seems to be none other than the 
broadest bay on the northern littoral of Snowfellness, now called 
Grundarfjor'Sr (Groundfirth), the name being derived from a 
homestead at the bottom of it called Grund. This name of the 
bay, however, does not occur in the Landnama, nor in any of 
the sagas, and yet it is old, being found in an index of Ice- 
landic bays dating from about 1300, where KirkjufjorSr and 
Grundarfjor^r are entered as two separate bays (Kalund, ii. 
359-72 ; Sturlunga, ii. 474). On the western side of Grundar- 
fjor'Sr there are localities named from Kirkja, such as Kirkjufell 
(Kirkfell), a name given both to a mountain and a homestead 
there ; and it seems but natural that he, who first gave this name 
to the mountain and the homestead, gave also the name Kirkju- 
fjorSr to the bay, which Kirkfell mountain bounds by the 
west. Kalund is inclined, on account of the two separate 
entries in the above-mentioned index, to see Kirkjufjor'Sr in 
one or other of the two small creeks that cut in on either side 
of the peninsula-formed mountain of Kirkjufell, but both seem 
too insignificant for a natural boundary of landtakes. The 
most natural construction of the Landnama text is, that Vestar, 
who took to himself the peninsula called Onward-Ere (short : 
Ere), on the eastern side of Grundarfjor^r, let its western 
boundary be the river that runs into the easternmost bight of 
the bottom of the bay, and that Heriolf's landtake began on 
the western bank of that river. But this assumption involves, 
first, that the original name of Grundarf jorSr was either lost, or 
was indeed Grundarfjor^r until a Christian called it Kirkju- 
f jorSr ; that the latter name prevailed for a while, till it again 
gave way to the original Grundarf jor^r, and that later on people 
made out of two names for one and the same firth two different 
firths. That so considerable a bay as Grundarfjor'Sr should 
not be mentioned or noticed at all in Landnama is, in the 
highest degree, improbable. 

xvi Preface. 

was Thorolf Bladderpate, Here our saga would 
seem to be an abbreviated record of Landnama, 
which, at any rate in this case, has not drawn its 
information from the E re-dwellers' story. 

The nearest settler to Vestar on the east was 
Audun Stoti, who took to himself the lands of 
Lavafirth, and about whom Landndma has inte- 
resting things to relate. But in our story he is 
only mentioned in passing as the father-in-law to 
Thorlak Asgeirson of Ere (ch. xii.), the reason 
being, no doubt, that he plays no part in any of the 
events related in the saga. 

In what our sagfa has to tell of Biorn the 
Easterner, the nearest eastern neighbour to Audun 
Stoti, it seems to be an independent record of 
Landnama altogether, and even partly in conflict 
with it. Our saga makes Biorn remain with his 
father-in-law, Earl Kiallak of Jamtaland, till his 
death, and then go to Norway to take to himself 
his father's lands. By that time enmity had arisen 
between Hairfair and Flatneb, and the former had 
confiscated the latter's estates. Biorn drives the 
king's bailiffs away, and the latter has him de- 
clared outlaw throughout Norway under obser- 
vance of lawful proceedings. But the Landnama, 
though agreeing here as everywhere else with our 
saga as to the genealogy, makes Biorn overtake 
his father's lands, when the latter took command 
of the expedition against the Western Isles, and 
makes Hairfair, on hearing of Flatneb's defection, 
drive Biorn out of his patrimony. Both records 
seem independently derived from one common 
tradition. Biorn's nearest neighbour to the east 

Preface. xvii 

was Thorolf Mostbeard. In the account of his 
emigration to Iceland our saga gives us fuller 
information than the Landnama, which, for in- 
stance, knows nothing of Thorolf 's consulting the 
oracle of Thor as to the advisability of either 
making peace with the king or leaving the land ; 
nor does the Landndma give any description of 
his preparation for the journey, which is so gra- 
phically detailed in our saga (ch. iv.). Much, on 
the other hand, of what the Landnama (ii. 12, 
p. 96-99) has to say about Thorolf and his son, 
Thorstein Codbiter, seems to be an abbreviated 
record of our saga (chs. ix., x.), and is clearly in- 
terpolated, since the story of the fight between 
Thorstein Codbiter and the Kiallekings is in- 
serted into the story of Thorolf before Thorstein 
is even properly introduced as his son. This in- 
sertion is due to the later editors of Landnama, of 

By our saga it would seem that Thorolf Halt- 
foot came out to Iceland for the first time when he 
took up his abode with his mother, and fought the 
duel with Ulfar the Champion, but the Landnama 
states that he came first out with his mother, and 
together with her stayed the first winter at the 
house of his uncle, Geirrod of Ere, and the next 
spring went abroad again, and betook himself to 
viking business, from which he did not return till 
after the death of his mother (ii. 13) ; this record 
also (ii. 12) knows that Thorgeir, the son of 
Geirrod, was by-named Staple, Kengr, of which 
our saga, though mentioning Thorgeir as an ally 
of Codbiter in the Thing-fight, knows nothing. 

II. b 

xviii Preface. 

On the other hand, it seems obvious that Land- 
nama's digression (ii. 13, p. lOi) with regard to 
the squabble between Arnbiorn of Combe and 
Thorleif Kimbi in Norway, with its sequel at 
the Thorsness Thing in Iceland, out of which 
eventually grew the fights at Swanfirth and Sword- 
firth, is an incorporation from our saga. 

It will thus be seen that, while our saga depends 
on Ari entirely for its genealogy and chronology 
(see the chronological list at the end of the Pre- 
face), the biography of both records is derived 
either from a common tradition, or is one of inter- 
dependence between both. 

As to the time, when our saga was written, two 
learned critics, Vigfusson, in the preface to his 
edition of it, 1864, pp. xii, xiii, and Konrad Maurer, 
Germania, x. 487, 488, have limited the period 
within which it could have been penned to the 
thirty years between 1 230-1 260 (or 1262), chiefly 
on the following grounds. At the end of the story 
Gudny, Bodvar's daughter, the mother of the 
famous Sturlusons, is introduced as having wit- 
nessed the digging-up and transference to a new 
church of the bones of Snorri. Gudny died in 
1 22 1, and though it is not stated that she was 
dead, when the sagaman writes, we still gather the 
impression that it is tacitly given to be understood. 
Before the death of this lady, therefore, the saga 
could not have been written. On the other hand, 
we read in ch. iv., " To that temple must all men 
pay toll and be bound to follow the temple-priest 
in all farings, even as now are Thingmen of 
chiefs ; " and further, in ch. x., " Then they 

Preface. xiy 

moved the Thing up the ness (inn i nesit) where it 
now is." Further still, after the settlement of the 
blood-suit for Arnkel, which gave general dissatis- 
faction, the plaintiffs being only women, we are in- 
formed that, " The rulers of the land made this law, 
that for the time to come no woman and no man 
under sixteen winters old should be suitors in a 
blood-suit. And that law has ever been holden 
to since " (ch. xxxviii.). 

These quotations prove really conclusively that 
in the author's time, and when he wrote down the 
saga, the old constitution of the commonwealth was 
still in full force : Thingmen owing the old alle- 
giance to their go'Si, or chief ; Things being still 
under the jurisdiction of the go'Sar, and women 
being still excluded from being suitors in a blood- 
suit, a restriction of woman's right unknown, as 
Maurer concisely puts it, to Norwegian law, and 
having no place in the two codes JarnsiSa and 
Jonsbok, the first codes introduced in Iceland after 
the subjection of the island to the Norwegian 
king. Hence it follows that our saga could not 
have been written down after the downfall of the 
constitution of the old commonwealth, 1262. 

But we are of opinion that the limitation of the 
period within which our saga was written may be 
greatly narrowed yet. 

Hitherto the critics have left untouched the 
question where our saga was written ; but for the 
answer to that question it contains itself an im- 
portant piece of evidence. First, it may be ob- 
served that the topography of our saga is so 
absolutely perfect, that the author in no single 

XX Preface. 

instance is ever at fault. Considering that the 
localities of the saga are to outsiders about the 
most intricate of all localities dealt with in Ice- 
landic sagas, on account of the many narrow and 
close-set arms of the sea that stretch into the 
littoral, it is obvious that an author who never fails 
in giving each its true bearing must have lived and 
moved in the locality itself. 

In ch. viii., p. 9, 20-22, of Vigfusson's edition, the 
latest and best, we read — " Arnkell het son hans, 
en Gunnfri^r dottir, er atti j^orbeinir a jjorbeinis- 
isto^um INN a Vatnshalsi inn fra DrapuhliS " : his 
son was called Arnkel, but his daughter Gunnfrid, 
whom Thorbein of Thorbeinstead up on Water- 
neck east from Drapalithe had to wife (ch. viii., p. 
13, of our trans.). Here it is obvious that the first 
*' inn " gives the direction to Thorbeinstead from 
the place where the author was at the time he 
penned these words, just as the second " inn " 
^ives the direction in which Thorbeinstead lies 
from Drapalithe. 

Observe, that in this passage no event or move- 
ment from one named place to another named place 
is in question ; but the case is one of stationary 
condition at both termini of the direction line, of 
which the terminus a quo is not named, and this 
is just what makes all the difference here. The 
firit " inn " is not wanted for any topographical 
purpose ; without it the statement would be just 
as clear and intelligible as it is with it ; it only 
serves to throw light upon the bearing of the 
writer's home to Thorbeinstead, and has dropped 
from his pen unawares from the force of daily 

Preface. xxi 

habit, and being an unconscious utterance becomes 
thereby all the more important in evidence. 

Used for topographical purposes " inn " in our 
saga means : i, east, if the direction be from west 
to east ; 2, south, or up, when the starting-point 
of the direction is near the sea, and the object- 
point lies in a landward spot on or east of the 
meridian of the starting-point. When, therefore, 
the author penned the words in question, he un- 
consciously designated his spot as being either 
west or north of Thorbeinstead. We can think of 
no place west of Thorbeinstead likely to have 
been an alma mater of a saga writer ; but north of 
It such a place is found at once in the monastery 
of Holyfell.^ That we maintain is the very place 
to which the author of the E re-dwellers' story 
points by his unconscious but fortunate slip. 

The author of our story then, being an inmate 
of the monastery of Holy fell. It Is Interesting to 
inquire who among the community of that place 
in the period from 1 221-1260 may be singled 
out as the likeliest for such a literary enterprise as 
the composition of a saga. 

Out of the monastery of Flatey, which had been 
founded by Abbot Ogmund Kalfson, a.d, 1172, 
arose, on the transference of it over to the con- 
tinent, the monastery of Holyfell, in 11 84. The 

' To this day the people of the all but sea-locked Thorsness 
invariably use the preposition "inn" to define the direction 
from the ness south or up to the inland localities of the parish 
of Holyfell, Helgafells-sveit, which lie on or east of the meridian 
of the ness : ** fara inn aS Drapuhli^, inn i sveit, inn a^ Ulfars- 
felli " = to fare in to, up to Drapalithe, in to or up into 
the parish, up to Ulfarsfell, etc. 

xxii Preface. 

fourth abbot of the foundation was Hall Gizurson, 
who ruled the house for five years, 1 221-1225, 
when he left the place, to take over the abbacy of 
Thickby, fykkvibaer, in eastern Iceland, where 
he died 1230. He was the son of Gizur Hallson, 
who by his contemporaries was regarded as the 
most accomplished man in Iceland. This is the 
character given him by his younger contemporary, 
Sturla Thordson, the historian (12 14-1284) : " He 
was both wise and eloquent ; he was marshal to 
King Sigurd, the father of King Sverrir. Of all 
clerks who ever have been in Iceland, he was the 
best. Often he went abroad, and was more highly 
accounted of in Rome than any man of Iceland 
kin had ever been before him, by reason of his 
learning and doings. He knew much far and wide 
about the southern lands, and thereon he wrote the 
book which is called Flos peregrinationis " (Stur- 
lunga, ii. 206). This Gizur was the grandson of 
that Teit, son of Bishop Isleif, who set up the 
school of Hawkdale, which was an outgrowth of 
the cathedral school of Skalaholt that his father 
had ora;anized. Gizur seems in his time to have 
been the most influential man in Iceland, and was 
Logsoguma'Sr, 1 181 -1200. His three sons were : 
Magnus, Bishop of Skalaholt, 12 16-1236; Thor- 
vald, the founder and first ruler of the monastery 
ofVi^ey, 12 26- 12 35; and Hall, the Holyfell abbot. 
Hall must have received at the school of Hawk- 
dale or Skalaholt the best education that was to be 
obtained in the land at that time. And it is clear 
that he must have enjoyed high esteem among his 
countrymen, since, when his father resigned the 

Preface. xxiii 

Speakershlp-at-law In 1200, Hall was elected his 
successor. He, however, resigned the office after 
nine years' tenure, and became a monk, which 
shows that studious life was more to his taste than 
the turmoil of public affairs. Among the congre- 
gation of Holy fell during the period within which 
the composition of Eyrbyggja saga must fall, there 
is, so far as we know, none to be named at all 
beside Hall as in the least likely to have undertaken 
the task. And since, on the author's own showing, 
the saga must have been composed at Holy fell, it 
is but an obvious inference that it must owe its 
existence to the only man who can be supposed to 
have written it. In point of time there are no 
obstacles at all in the way of the saga's having 
been written during the period of Hall's abbotship. 
Thus we consider that a strong case is established 
in favour of Abbot Hall Gizurson being indeed the 
author of Eyrbyggja saga. Assuming such to be 
the case, we can regard Hall as a transplanter of 
the Skalaholt-Hawkdale school of learning to 
Holyfell, and thus Vigfusson's talk about the saga- 
school of the Broadfirthers, which was somewhat 
distrustfully dealt with by Maurer twenty-seven 
years ago, finds a corroboration which Vigfusson 
himself never dreamt of. 

It is abundantly evident, that the author of our 
saga had access to a library of sagas, which is 
saying as much as that the E re-dwellers' story was 
put to writing in a monastery. This library he 
seems to have examined with the one main view of 
at least making note of everything which he found 
bearing on the life of the principal hero, Snorri. 

xxiv Preface, 

This research of his has led exactly to the result 
that was to be expected. While he seems entirely 
unacquainted with Snorri's important share in the 
terrible affairs of Nial and his sons, a.d. 1011-1012, 
and consequently had no N ial's saga to refer to ; and 
was equally ignorant of Snorri's interest in the affairs 
of Grettir the Strong, hence had no Grettir's saga 
at hand ; while, in fact, sagas not specially con - 
nected with the Westfirthers' quarter seem to have 
been beyond his reach ; those that bore on men 
and matters of Broadfirth, and the Westland gene- 
rally, he had pretty completely at his command. 
For the fifty years that Broadfirth had boasted of 
a seat of learning in the monastery of Flatey-Holy- 
fell, when Hall Gizurson became abbot, we may 
be sure that the history of its highborn chieftains, 
some of whom were really great and noble men, 
had, in particular, arrested the attention of the 
brotherhood. And it may fairly be assumed that 
such a work as Brand the Learned's Brei^fir^inora 
kynslo^ (Broadfirthers' race) early found its way 
into the library of the monastery. Out of the 
sagas our author drew upon for information, he 
only mentions two by their titles, the saga of the 
Laxdalemen (Laxdsela saga), with the events of 
which Snorri was so intimately connected, and the 
saga of the Heath-slayings (Hei&rviga saga), 
which, by a mistake, as it were (see Introduction 
to the Story of the Heath-slayings), spun itself 
out of Snorri's ignoble revenge for the killing of 
his wrong-doing father-in-law, Stir. It is not on 
that account, however, that our author brings in a 
mention of this saga, but he does it for the pur- 

Preface, xxv 

pose of exhibiting Snorri's interest in Bardi, whose 
affairs, after the Heath-slaughters, but for Snorri's 
intervention, might have taken a very serious turn, 
not only for Bardi himself and his allies, but even 
for the general peace of the land. 

Of unnamed sagas our author has known un- 
doubtedly that of Thord the Yeller, which is 
mentioned as a special saga in Landndma (ii. i6) ; 
this is to be inferred, not only from the part that 
Thord takes in the affairs between the Thorsness- 
ings and the Kiallekings, but especially from the 
reference (p. i8) the author makes to the consti- 
tutional law which Yeller carried through a.d. 965 
(see vol. i., p. xxxi foil.), full thirty years later than 
the religious fight at Thorsness Thing took place. 
This, of all sagas, was the one that might be sup- 
posed to have early formed an item of the library 
of the monastery of Holyfell. 

The disjointed notices in chaps, xii. and xiii. 
about the slaying of Snorri's father, Thorgrim, by 
Gisli Surson ; the marriage of Thordis, Snorri's 
mother, to Bork the Thick, and her attempt on 
the life of Eyolf the Gray, her brother's slayer, are 
clearly culled from the saga of Gisli Surson, the 
author contenting himself with incorporating only 
as much as directly bore on the life of Snorri. Not 
knowing Nial's saga, he was ignorant of the fact 
that Snorri himself, being taunted by Skarphedin 
for not having avenged his father, confessed that 
that was commonly thrown in his teeth (Nial's 
saga, chap, cxix.) ; otherwise our author is fond of 
introducing notices at the expense of Snorri's 

xxvi Preface. 

In chap, xxiv., pp. 54-55, we come upon a short 
account of Eric the Red's voyage of discovery to 
Greenland. It stands in no connection with the 
thread of our story, and is inserted here apparently 
for no other reason than that Snorri is mentioned 
as agreeing to Stir's request to keep aloof from 
Eric's enemies and not to meddle in his affairs. 
The notice is interesting, showing that it is drawn 
from a saga of Eric the Red which now exists no 
more. The Eric's saga which we now have, knows 
nothing of Snorri as mixed up in the affairs of Eric 
the Red, and is, besides, an abstract of a longer 
saga of the Greenland discoverer, eked out by 
matter borrowed from the story of Thorfin Karl- 
sefni (see Reeves, Discovery of Vineland the 
Good, 1 89 1, which affords excellent opportunity 
of comparing the two saga texts). 

In chap, xlviii., p. 135, we meet the abrupt 
statement that " Thorgils the Eagle was son of 
Hallstein, the Priest of Hallstein-ness, the thrall- 
owner," or, more literally, " who owned the thralls." 
In Landn. ii,, xxiii., p. 131, mention is made of 
these thralls, and the additional information sup- 
plied that Hallstein had captured them in a war-raid 
on Scotland, and sent them out to the islands 
called Svefneyjar in Broadfirth, for the making 
of salt. About Hallstein there must once have 
existed a separate saga. Like his father and 
brother of Thorsness, he was of an intensely deep 
religious character, and, according to some ac- 
counts, sacrificed to Thor even his own son, that 
the god might deign to send him high-seat pillars, 
he himself having come from abroad to Iceland 

Preface. xxvii 

before he had become a householder. His prayer 
was heard, and Thor sent him a large tree, out of 
Avhich he not only got his own high-seat pillars, 
but most houses in the " thwart bays " (those 
cutting into the northern littoral of Broadfirth) 
besides. Hallstein was a go^i of the Codfirthers 
()7orskfirSinga go^i), and of the Codflrth folk there 
is still extant a saga, J^orskfirSinga saga, also called 
the saga of Gold-Thorir (Gull]76rir). But this is 
not the saga from which the incidents of Hallstein's 
life, in Landnama and in our story, are drawn. 
The Codfirther's saga, on the contrary, merely 
alludes to the sacrifice above-mentioned as a story 
commonly known, and knows nothing about the 
thralls. Landndma's and our story's reference to 
Hallstein and his thralls is also only an allusion to 
what the authors of each record assume as a gene- 
rally current tale. In the folklore of Iceland of 
the present day a slight tale is told of these slaves, 
to the effect that Hallstein came upon them one 
day sleeping, and hanged them (Islenzkar fj6^- 
sogur, ii., 85). If the tale be a traditional descen- 
dant of other days, and not a later imaginative 
ofloss on the statement of our sasfa or that of the 

o .... 

Landnama, then the original incident must have 
been of a nature to impress the hearers deeply. 
However that may be, it seems that our author has 
known a now lost saga of Hallstein Thorolfson. 

Our author has drawn information as to Biorn 
the Champion of the Broadwickers from a saga 
about him which no longer exists, save for the 
fragments preserved in our story. Biorn's sojourn 
in Jomsburg, where evidently the title of Broad- 

xxviii Preface. 

wickers' Champion was conferred on him, and his 
joining Styrbiorn, the Swedes' champion, in his ill- 
fated expedition against King Eric the Victorious, 
is nowhere mentioned, though many historical 
notices exist relating to Styrbiorn, and a special 
fragment setting forth the chief events of his life, 
and a particularly detailed description of the battle 
of Fyrisfield, where he fell (Fornmannasogur, v. 

245-251)- - . , 

We have to deal with a pure romance m the 

account of Biorn's last voyage from Iceland (chap, 
xlvii., p. 134), and Gudleif's meeting with him in 
some unknown land (chap. Ixiv., pp. 179-183). 
Biorn left Iceland when north-eastern winds pre- 
vailed mostly for a whole summer season, that is, 
till they, never changing (!), had brought Biorn to 
his destination. Gudleif falls in with the same per- 
sistent gales west of Ireland, yet comes in spite of 
that to Biorn's country. Gudleif knows no name 
for the country, and apparently never was curious 
enough to ask about it : he falls in with a chiefly- 
looking person talking Icelandic, who refuses to 
tell his name, but is simple enough to question 
Gudleif mostly about people whom Biorn knew 
aforetime, and to send gifts to just the two persons 
he loved best in Iceland, with the naive declara- 
tion that they came from him " who was a greater 
friend of the goodwife of Frodis-water than of the 
Priest of Holyfell." It is an obvious matter that 
this was written after Thorfin Karlsefni's saga had 
made the Icelanders familiar with the geographical 
position of the North American continent. It may, 
of course, be derived from the lost saga of Biorn ; 

Preface. xxix 

but it must not be overlooked that chapters Ixiii. 
and Ixiv. of our saga occupy a peculiar position in 
the book. Our saga is really an unfinished work. 
For some reason or other it leaves the last eighteen 
years of Snorri's life a perfect blank. Did Abbot 
Hall, supposing he was the author, leave it in that 
state, on being transferred to Thickby ? But how- 
ever that may be, the fact is, that a gap of eighteen 
years there is at the end of the book between 
chapters Ixii. and Ixv. This, we take it, struck 
someone as a drawback and a blemish, and so, not 
knowing what records to draw upon for further 
facts relating to Snorri, he dashed in those two 
chapters to round off the tale, the first dealing with 
an uncouth popular legend, the second securing for 
goodman Kiartan of Frodis-water a descent from a 
real ruler of men, an American goSi, in fact. The 
language of these chapters, however, appears in no 
marked manner to differ from the rest of the book, 
so they must be from a contemporary hand. It 
must be said in passing, however, that the Gudleil 
episode is of great beauty, and, together with the 
weird story of the bull Glossy, relieves the latter 
part of the saga from the reproach of dulness. 

Superstition plays a very conspicuous part in 
our saga, and the folklore embodied in it bears 
witness to a very imaginative author. Touching 
in its serious simplicity is the heathen's belief in 
the holy purity of the spot which is regarded as 
the god's special habitation. In this respect the 
faith of the Thorsnessings is depicted in our saga 
in perfect harmony with what we know from else- 
where, about the northern heathen's ideal concep- 

XXX Preface. 

tion of the purity and delicacy of the personified 
powers of nature. In the edition of Landnama by 
Justice Hawk (iv., 7, p. 258), we read: "This was 
the beo-inning of the heathen laws, that men should 
not go to sea in figure-headed ships, but if they 
did so, they should remove the figure-head before 
they came in sight of land, nor should they sail up 
to the land with gaping heads or yawning snouts, 
lest the land-sprites should take fright thereat." 
Thorolf Mostbeard's injunction, " that no man un- 
washed should turn his eyes to Holy fell," pro- 
ceeds evidently from the same high conception of 
the pure holiness of the supernatural powers he 
believed in. 

But beside this charming phase of the heathen's 
belief, we have also the cruder forms of faith in 
sorcery, represented by Cunning Gils, Katla, Geir- 
rid, and Thorgrima Witchface, in portents such as 
those of Frodis-water, in ghosts, such as Thorolf 
Halt-foot, Thorod Scatcatcher and his crew, Thor- 
gunna. Stir, and the revenants of Frodis-water. In 
the case of Thrand the Strider we have the Chris- 
tian churchman's idea of the cause to which the 
** hamremi," or preternatural strength, was due, 
which, like a fit, would seize the ancient heathen 
at moments when success or safety depended on 
desperate efforts. With the heathen this was 
heredity derived from trolls, with the Christian it 
was " devilhood " (p. 167). For folklore, a good deal 
of which seems to be derived from popular songs, 
the Ere-dwellers' story stands, beside the Grettir's 
story, pre-eminent among Icelandic sagas. It is 
evident that the author has been peculiarly fasci- 

Preface. xxxi 

nated with this kind of literature, realizing how 
genuinely national it was, and how well it lent 
itself to treatment by a good story-teller. The 
whole episode about Thorgunna, chaps, l.-lv., 
forms a saga within a saga between two chapters 
which are inseparably connected. 

As to the heathen cult, our story contains one 
of the most important records extant in the litera- 
ture. The description of the Temple of Thor, 
built by Thorolf, is as graphic as it is significant, 
and may be regarded as a locus classicus. There 
attaches to it the one drawback, that the author 
has left us in the dark as to the meaning and use 
of the " regin-naglar," gods' nails, a term which 
only occurs here, unless the nails that secured the 
stability of the high-seat pillars were so called. 
The temple description of our saga is most inte- 
restingly supplemented by that of the temple of 
the " alsherjar-go'Si " of Kjalarness, as given in the 
otherwise romancing Kialnesinga saga : " Thor- 
grim " (grandson of Ingolf Ernson, the first settler) 
"was a great sacrificer. He had a large temple 
reared in his homefield, one hundred feet long and 
sixty feet wide, whereunto all men (all his Thing- 
men) should pay temple-toll. There Thor was 
held in highest honour. From the inner end 
thereof there was a building in the shape of a 
cap. The temple was arrayed with hangings, 
and had windows all round. There Thor stood 
in the middle, and on either hand the other gods. 
In front thereof (2>., of the row of the idols) was 
a stall wrought with great cunning, and lined at 
the top with iron, whereon there should burn a 

xxxii Preface. 

fire that must never go out ; that they called a 
hallowed fire." Here then, in respect of architec- 
tural form, we have the interesting detail given, 
that the building, which corresponds to that addi- 
tional room, which in the temple of Thorsness 
was built to the inner end of it, " of that fashion 
whereof now is the choir of a church," was in the 
shape of a cap. The form of the public temple of 
Keelness cannot be traced now. But at the home- 
stead of Thyrill, some ten miles distant from the 
spot where the temple of Keelness must have 
stood, there have been laid bare of late years the 
ruins of a " blot-hiis," house of sacrifice, private 
temple, which we know from Hord Grimkelson's 
saga ( I slendinga sogur, 1 84 7, ii., pp. 1 09- 1 o), existed 
in the latter part of the tenth century, at which 
even its devout owner, Thorstein Goldnob, was 
slain in October, 986. This private temple was, 
though not in size, in shape undoubtedly, modelled 
on the public temple of Keelness. The exca- 
vated ground-plan shows clearly that at one end a 
semicircular chamber was built, divided from the 
main building by a party wall. It was, in fact, 
the apse of the temple, appropriately termed by 
the Icelanders "hiifa" rz cap. A nave with a 
walled-off apse seems to have been the general 
form of the heathen temples of Iceland. 

In its account of the temple rites our saga 
agrees closely with other existing records. Thus, 
again, the Keelnessings' saga states that on the 
stall should lie a stout ring made of silver, which 
the temple-priest should wear on his arm at all 
man-motes ; thereon should all oaths be taken in 

P/eface. xxxiii 

matters relating to ordeal cases. On that stall, 
too, there should stand a bowl of copper, a large 
one, wherein should be poured all the blood which 
flowed from animals given to Thor, or to men, 
which blood they called " hlaut," and the bowl 
" hlautbolli." The " hlaut " should be sprinkled 
over the folk and beasts ; but the wealth which 
was paid to the temple should be used for the 
entertainment of men, when sacrificial feasts were 
held. But those men whom they sacrificed should 
be hurled into that fen which was outside by the 
door, which fen they called the pit of sacrifice. 
(Keelness. saga, ch. ii.) 

A third record relating to the temple rites we 
have in Hawk the Justice's edition of Landnama, 
iv., ch. 7, pp. 258-59: "A ring, weighing two 
or more (van lee. twenty) ounces should lie on the 
stall in every head-temple ; that ring each goSi 
should wear on his arm at all Things prescribed 
by law, such as he was bound to hold himself, 
having first reddened it in the blood of a neat which 
he himself had sacrificed there. Any man who had 
there to do business as by law provided before 
the court, should first deliver an oath on that ring, 
and name to himself two witnesses or more, saying 
these words : I call witnesses thereunto that I take 
oath on ring, a lawful oath, so help me Frey and 
Niord and the Almighty god, as I shall this case 
plead or defend, or witness bear, or verdicts give, 
or dooms deliver, according as I know rightest and 
truest and ratherest lawful, and all lawful deeds 
out of hand turn such as unto my share fall while 
I be at this Thing. . . . There were men chosen 

n. c 

xxxiv Preface. 

to ward the temples even according to their wisdom 
and righteousness ; even they should name judges 
at the Things, and rule the pleading of cases ; 
hence were they called go^ar. Every man should 
pay toll to temple, even as tithe to churches now." 

" Hlaut," n., by its root-vowel, belongs to the 
gradation series jo (jii, u) -au -u -o, and stands to 
" hljota," as " skaut," n., offshoot, skirt, to " skjota," 
"saup," n., sip-meat, to " supa," " staup," n,, what 
of more or less solid nature is turned out of a stoup, 
to " stupa ; " and since " hljota " means to come by 
by lot, to come in for as a share, " hlaut " seems 
simply to mean the blood-lot (collectively speak- 
ing) which was kept in the bowl to from the 
sprinkler fall to every worshipper's share. Accord- 
ingly, " hlaut-teinn " would mean allotment rod, 
distributing rod, sprinkler. 

The ring figures here, as elsewhere throughout 
its interesting history, as an emblem of unity — the 
unity in one person of two distinct functions : ponti- 
fical supremacy in things religious, lordly supre- 
macy in matters of state. 

The Story of the Heath-slayings, Hei^- 
arviga saga, as a literary product, is unquestion- 
ably the oldest of all the sagas of Iceland. Un- 
fortunately it has come down to us in a sadly 
mangled state. Ours being the first attempt at 
an English rendering of the difficult original, we 
consider that a concise account of the fata libelli 
containing it, is in place at the head of our pre- 
fatory remarks. 

It was acquired by purchase from Iceland by the 

Preface. xxxv 

Royal Academy of Antiquities in Sweden, through 
the agency of the Icelander, Jon Eggertsson, in the 
year 1682.^ It is now incorporated in the Royal 
Library at Stockholm, bearing the signature 18 
among the Icelandic quartos. At the time of its 
purchase it may or may not have been a perfect 
book, probably the latter was the case ; ^ at any 
rate, when Arni Magnusson ascertained its exis- 
tence in Sweden, after 1722, it was but a remnant 
of a book, consisting of thirty-six leaves. Of these 
the first 23^ contained a fragment of the story 
of Slaying Stir and the saga of the Heath-slay ings 
complete, with the exception of one leaf (see our 
translation, p. 247). The remaining 12^ leaves 
contained the text of the saga of Gunnlaug the 
Wormtono^ue, the best existino- of that sag-a. 

Arni Magnusson having applied to the Swedish 
Academy for the loan of the MS., obtained, fortu- 
nately, only the first twelve leaves of it, the 
obvious reason being that those leaves had become 
disconnected from the rest, of the existence of 
which, for a long time afterwards, no one had the 
least idea. Of these twelve leaves Arni caused his 
able amanuensis, Jon Olafsson from Grunnavik 
(1705-1778), to take a copy, in the latter part of the 
year 1727 ; but original as well as copy were both 
destroyed in the Copenhagen conflagration of 
1728. In the following year Olafsson wrote down 
from memory the contents of the destroyed leaves, 
from which we have drawn the brief introductory 

^ See Sturlunga, i., Proleg. cxlvii. 

"^ Vigfussoii says the beginning of it was lost ere it came 
to Stockholm, Prol. liv. 

xxxvi Preface. 

matter to the story, pp. 191-99. On a journey 
of antiquarian research to Stockholm in 1772, 
Hannes Finnsson (son of the famous Church his- 
torian of Iceland, Finnur Jonsson) discovered the 
lost remainder of the precious fragment, the best 
edition of which is Jon Sigurdsson's in the second 
volume of Islendingasogur, 1847. On his edition 
our translation depends. 

Of all the Icelandic sagas this is the most quaint 
in style. The author knows not yet how to handle 
prose for the purpose of historical composition. 
In one and the same sentence allocutive speech 
and historic narrative are blended together in the 
most unconscious manner. The author assumes 
tacitly all throughout that the reader knows all 
about his tale ; hence he hardly ever takes the 
trouble to add to the Christian names of the actors 
the patronymic. In one instance this confidence 
in the reader's knowledge carries him even so far 
as in chap, xxxix. to refer to a person mentioned 
in the beginning of chap, xxxvi. (Thorod Keg- 
ward) as "he." This, more than any other Ice- 
landic saga, affords us an insight into what the 
saga-telling was like during the period of oral 
tradition. It was the common property of teller 
and listener alike. This the former knew, and 
need not be on his guard against disjointed, loop- 
holed delivery ; the listener's knowledge supplied 
all troublesome little details, the teller took care 
of facts, characters, dramatic action. 

We deemed we had no choice but to let our 
translation represent the peculiarity of the style of 
the original as faithfully as possible. 

Preface. xxxvii 

With regard to the plot of the story, it is aa 
dramatically arranged a plot as there is in any exist- 
ing Icelandic saga, and much more naively than in 
any. The sage of Lechmote, Thorarin, a most per- 
fect type of a devoted foster-father, half distrustful 
of the ability of his fosterling, arranges the whole 
thing most quietly and carefully at his Willowdale 
retreat. He makes his fosterling pray for atone- 
ment for his brother, with the most dignified 
moderation, at the Althing, until, as he calculated, 
the rash and reckless Gisli should turn everybody's 
sympathy in favour of Bardi, which, in the event 
of a blood-feud, would be of the greatest avail to 
him. Next there were two important things to 
look to. Since at the hands of the men who stood 
next to make honourable satisfaction for the slay- 
ing of Bardi's brother, Hall, nothing but insult 
was obtained instead of atonement, and peaceful 
arrangement was thus excluded,. the revenge must 
be of the most insulting nature possible. No 
insult could exceed that of being fought, wounded, 
slain by one's own faithful weapon. So Thorarin 
secures, in a very slippery way, the best weapon 
possessed by Gisli's father, Thorgaut,^ and hands 
it to Bardi, while from another among the Gislungs 
he obtains also one for his son Thorberg, weapons 
that make good execution in the Heath-battle. The 
second point was to be well informed as to the 
doings of the Gislungs and other folk in Burgfirth, 

^ The parenthesis, p. 194, to the effect that this Gisli was 
the one that Grettir flogged, goes out. " Thorstein " in the 
Hne preceding we ought to have changed into Thorgaut, and 
have done so in the index. 

xxxviii Preface. 

without arousing any suspicion of espionage with a 
view to a sudden raid upon the country. For this 
purpose the old foster-father caused two pet-horses 
to be removed from their pastures at ThingvelHr 
during the last Althing at which Bardi craved 
atonement for his brother, while their owner, 
Thord of Broadford, from the North country, was 
attending to public business there. Burgfirth being 
the nearest country-side with fine pastures to the 
tracts of ThingvelHr, everybody would naturally 
suppose that Thord's pets must have strayed 
thither and, not turning up, did elude search hidden 
in some of Burgfirth's many valleys. Thus Thorarin 
had a specious pretext for repeatedly sending his 
spies to Burgfirth to inquire, in Thord of Broad- 
ford's name, for these horses while, in reality, they 
went to find out all about the Gislungs and their 
numerous allies. These plans of Thorarin, care- 
fully veiled from the outset, are first allowed to 
come out in their true aim and importance in the 
story, when the hour of action has struck, and 
the effect is really artistic. In much the same 
wary vein are conceived Thorarin's last injunctions 
as to the tactics to be adopted by Bardi. One 
third of his company of eighteen was to be 
stationed up at the Bridge by Biarnisforce as a 
last reserve, the second third midway between 
this spot and Goldmead, and the last third, con- 
sisting of Bardi himself, his two brothers, two 
fosterlings of his own house, and his housecarle 
Thord — as being the most obedient to Bardi's 
word — were to make the attack on the mowers of 
Goldmeed, Gisli and his brothers. On the field of 

Preface. xxxix 

deed, therefore, no one knew that the attacking 
party consisted of more than six, and this, Thor- 
arin accurately calculated, would serve to rouse the 
ardour of the pursuit to such an extent, that those 
who got first ready would not care to lose time by 
waiting for reinforcements coming up. Thus the 
Southerners plunged into the fight against great 
odds, and got the worst of it. 

Our saga tells of events which throughout 
the whole saga-age of Iceland most seriously 
threatened to disturb the general peace of the 
land. A family feud had developed into a state 
of war between North and South, and it was 
really due to the cool peacemaker of Saelingsdale- 
tongue, Snorri, that the end was peace instead of 
prolonged civil feud. After the general manner 
of our saga, his interest in Bardi's affair seems at 
first to have something mysterious about it. Bardi 
meets him in the dusk with dropped visor, as he 
is crossing the Blanda in company with Thorgils 
Arison his brother-in-law, and forthwith Snorri 
tricks Thorgils, who knows nothing of Bardi's pre- 
sence, into solemnly proclaiming truce for all pre- 
sent, whereby Thorgils unwittingly dissociated 
himself from his kindred and friends of Burgfirth 
as an active ally in case of continued feud. Then 
Snorri goes to Lechmote, and the two deep chiefs 
take counsel together, when, we may take for 
granted, Bardi's alliance to Snorri was first be- 
spoken, and the latter's goodwill in the forth- 
coming blood-suit secured. Circumstances favoured 
Bardi all round now. Snorri was not forgetful of 
old grudges. At the head of a band of four 

xl Preface, 

hundred strong the Burgfirthers had foiled him but 
a few years before when seeking to serve a lawful 
summons on the slayer of his father-in-law. In 
the blood-suit which afterwards he brought into 
court at the Althing, he was non-suited by Thor- 
stein Gislison, backed by his Burgfirth kin and 
neighbours. Then he took Thorstein's life, but 
came ingloriously out of the blood-suit, as the 
Ere-dwellers' story clearly hints. Bardi's case was 
therefore Snorri's opportunity for restoring his 
shaken prestige. And when at the Althing the 
Burfirthers saw that he had thrown the great 
weight of Broadfirth into the scale of the North- 
landers, they had no choice but peacefully to make 
the best of a serious case. In the light of this 
situation only we can understand, how the Burg- 
firthers could put up with such a galling award as 
to have four of their well-born men that fell in the 
Heath-fight left unatoned. 

A remarkable popular tradition, linked to our 
saga, lives still in the country of Hunawater, to the 
effect that, after the battle of the Heath, Bardi 
built up the work to this day called Burg-Work, 
and theredefended himself against the Burgfirthers, 
being twice attacked by them in force. The learned 
Paul Vidalin (1667-1727), in his " Skyringar yfir 
fornyr'Si logbokar j^eirrar er Jonsbok kallast," p. 
625, s. V. " virki," thus recounts the legend, as told 
him by his uncle, Gudbrand, son of Arngrim Jons- 
son (1568-1648) : "So it is said, that Bardi Gud- 
mundson of Asbiornsness caused the same work 
to be reared against expected attacks by the Burg- 
firthers, after he had avenged his brother Hall, and 

Preface, xli 

this, people aver, is related in the story of the 
Heath-slayings. Bardi set out watches in two 
places, one on Thorey's-nip, to keep a look-out on 
the Burghrthers should they ride over Two-days' 
Heath, the other on Rednip, watching their ride 
over Ernwater Heath, whether descending into 
Willowdale or Waterdale. As soon as aware of 
their approach, the watches were to light a beacon. 
Even as he had guessed the Burgfirthers made 
their appearance (by what road the tale does not 
say), and Bardi with his followers went into the 
work, which the attackers besieged, making several 
attempts to carry it, but being repulsed, resolved 
to starve those within it, and invested it for a fort- 
night ; but the besieged being plentifully pro- 
visioned, the Burgfirthers had to retire, having 
eff"ected nothing. This narrative by Gudbrand 
Arngrimson, according to tradition, says that the 
statement is found in the story of the Heath-slay- 
ings." Vidalin was evidently much interested in 
this tradition, and collected further evidence re- 
lating to it which, though evidently later, agreed 
in all essential points with his uncle's. 

This Gudbrand was born in 1639 (ob. 17 19), and 
was thus forty-three years of age, when J6nEggerts- 
son secured the MS. of our story in Iceland. 
Gudbrand's father was in his day by a long way the 
most learned man in Iceland, his great rival, Bishop 
Brynjolf, appearing on the scene first towards the 
close of Arngrim's life. He was a collector of 
MSS. and author of standard works upon the 
history and antiquities of his country. A learned 
contemporary of his was Magnus Olafsson, priest 

xlii Preface. 

of Vellir and Laufas (i 591 -1636), both livings 
being within the diocese of Holar, of which Arn- 
grim was ^^f/^^/zi- for five-and-thirty years (1596- 
1628). These two men knew one another well 
enough, and both were ardent pursuers of one and 
the same line of study. Now Magnus made him- 
self famous in the literary world by compiling a 
rearrangfed edition of the Prose Edda from Codex 
Wormianus, which goes by the name of Laufas 
Edda. Into this edition is incorporated a strophe 
and a half by Guest, son of Thorhall, the slayer of 
Stir, in which the killing of Stir in particular is com- 
memorated. This being the only edition of Edda 
containing these verses, it is evident that they 
were culled from a copy of our saga at least six- 
and-forty years before that copy which Jon Eggerts- 
son secured left the country, in all probability a 
good many years earlier. Now Jon Eggertsson 
got his copy from the Northland, so presumably it 
was the same that Magnus Olafsson had used for 
his Edda. It stands obviously to reason that 
Arngrim the Learned should have known of this 
work in his friend's possession, and should have 
obtained the loan of it, and thus a possible link 
between the tradition known to his son, Gudbrand, 
and Hei^arviga saga itself would be obtained. On 
the obliterated page of the original of our saga 
(pp. 242-243) there certainly is reference made 
to Bardi's bargaining with friends and kindred 
for supplies for a " seta," body-guard, but appa- 
rently it seems to refer to Asbiornsness. So 
much seems certain, however, that what Bardi 
required must have been very considerable, 

Preface. xliii 

since one man contributed no less than twelve 

But whatever may be the real origin of the 
popular tradition, the incontestable fact remains, 
that once upon a time the peak-shaped fell, now 
called Burg- work (Borgarvirki), towering to the 
height of some 800 feet above the level of the 
sea between the two steads of Mickle-Burg (Stora- 
borg) and Little-Burg (Litla-Borg) in Willowdale, 
was transformed by the labour of man into a 
military fortress. We ourselves had an oppor- 
tunity of visiting the work in our trip to Iceland 
in 1 87 1, and to inspect the by no means incon- 
siderable fortifications thrown, in the shape of 
walls made of large flat slabs, across all clefts in 
the natural basaltic rock which offered access to the 
top, standing over four feet thick, and in some places 
as many as ten feet high. An interesting and minute 
description of the work is given by Dr. B. M. Olsen, 
a native of the neighbourhood, in "Arbok hins 
islenzka fornleifafelags 1880 og 1881," pp. 99-113, 
accompanied by a critical dissertation on the Burg- 
Work tradition, and he, a first-rate antiquary and 
scholar, comes to the conclusion that, since in the 
whole history of that country-side there is no 
event with which the really great works of forti- 
fication on the peak can be connected, unless it be 
Bardi's war with the Burgfirthers, we are not 
authorized at present to reject the existing tradi- 
tion as utterly unhistorical. 

The chronology of our saga has given great 
trouble hitherto. Its central date is, of course, the 
year of the Heath-slayings, which by some is 

xliv Preface. 

placed at 1013, others at 1014 or 1018, and by the 
saga itself at 102 1. Vigfusson declares in favour of 
1 01 4, relying on the statements of Grettir's saga, 
" that the Heath-slayings befell in the autumn 
that Grettir spent in Iceland after his first journey 
abroad, but that year was 1014" (Timatal, 460, cf. 
473-474). He attaches particular weight to the 
evidence of the old Resenius' annals, which also 
place the Heath-fight in 1014. 

At the time when Vigfusson wrote his Timatal, he, 
in common with contemporary scholars, believed that 
the annalistic writings of Iceland were as old as the 
historical, and the dates of the former were indepen- 
dent of the latter. This opinion, which originated 
with the Northland annalist, Bjorn Jonsson of 
Skar'Ssa, in the seventeenth century, is radically 
refuted by Gustav Storm in his excellent edition of 
" Islandske Annaler indtil 1578," where a whole 
array of evidence is brought together to show, that 
annalistic writing in Iceland could not have begun 
till a few years before 1300. For the saga period, 
therefore, the evidence of the annals has no real 
weight, since their dates depend on the evidence 
of the sagas themselves, according as the annalists 
were able to reason them out in each particular 
case. In this instance, thus, the evidence of 
Resenius' annals falls through as worthless, since 
evidently it depends on Grettir's saga. But what 
does that saga's evidence amount to ? 

In chapter xxviii. we are told that Grettir came 
on a visit to his kinsman and former superior 
playmate, Audun of Audunstead in Willowdale, 
and let loose his horse to graze in the home- mead 

Preface. xlv 

" M^here the grass was highest" (loSnast, highest and 
thickest). This visit then happened in June, be- 
fore the mowing of the home-mead began ; mowing 
of home-fields having at all times in Iceland be- 
gun, in ordinary years, at the end of June or in the 
first week of July. Grettir, wanting to square old 
scores with Audun, falls to wrestling with him, in 
the midst of which scuffle Bardi arrives and sepa- 
rates the wrestlers. Grettir now oifers Bardi to 
join his expedition, " for I have heard that thou 
art bent on going south to Burgfirth this summer." 
Bardi accepted the offer gladly and (chap, xxxi.) 
rode home to Asblornsness, and then to his foster- 
father, "who gladly received him, and asked 
what he had earned in the way of helpful follow- 
ing," etc. 

This statement of Grettla's we can pronounce at 
once as false. It is invented on the basis of the 
Heath-slayings' story ; but as we know it now, at 
least, there is no mention made in it of any meet- 
ing between Bardi and Grettir at any time, much 
less of Thorarin's disapproval of Bardi's engage- 
ment of Grettir, which in Grettir's saga is circum- 
stantially related, and Thorarin's harangue kept 
exactly in his wary, half-pious vein and anxious 
care not to spoil his fosterling's chances by the 
admission into his band of any whose fetch was 
one of lucklessness. It would be incomprehensible 
how such an incident could ever have dropped out 
of the Heath-fight's story having once got into it. 
But there are more serious objections to be noted. 
Grettir could not possibly have heard rumours in 
June or July of that which was not resolved upon 

xlvi Preface. 

till " seven weeks were left of summer," i.e., the 
latter end of August, and then in strict secrecy, no 
one knowing" the least about it till the Sunday, 
when six weeks were left of summer, that Bardi 
broke the secret in the folk-mote at Thingere. 
That Bardi, therefore, as the Grettla clearly gives 
to understand, should have been abroad recruiting 
his force in June or July, is out of question, of 
course. Why, the whole plot of the Heath-slay- 
ings' story turns really on one hinge, namely, the 
observance of absolute secrecy as to Thorarin's 
intentions, until they could be carried out in a 
shorter time than it would take the rumour of 
them to cross the mountains. This statement of 
Grettla, therefore, which hitherto has served as a 
key-stone of the chronology of our saga, is in itself 
of no worth, being a mere fabrication. If it 
should happen to relate to the right year, it would 
be by accident only. 

Now the landmarks of time that our story itself 
supplies are the following : the year that Bardi 
was outlawed at the Althing he went abroad, but 
was shipwrecked on the northern coast of Iceland, 
and spent the winter with Gudmund of Madder- 
vales (Mo'Sruvellir) in Eyiafirth ; the next winter 
he was in Norway ; the next to that in Denmark, 
and in the following summer he set sail for Iceland, 
arrived on the north coast, and — " By this time 
Gudmund was dead." Now the year of Gud- 
mund's death was 1025; so, counting back these 
years of Bardi's outlawry, we see that he was in 
Denmark, 1024-1025, in Norway, 1023-1024, at 
Maddervales, 1022-1023 ; consequently the Thing 

Preface. xlvii 

at which he was outlawed was that of 1022, and 
the Heath-fight accordingly befell in 1021. Against 
this evidence of the saga itself Grettla's fictitious 
statement goes for nothing, of course. Vigfusson 
is by no means indifferent to these chronological 
facts, though he does not, on account of the great 
importance he attaches to Grettla's evidence, see 
his way to accept them. And it cannot be denied 
that a variety of difficult points is raised by accept- 
ing the evidence of our story. But to disallow it, 
considerinof that we have to deal with the oldest 
Icelandic saga, preserved in the oldest of all the 
saga vellums from Iceland, is obviously contrary 
to all rules of sound criticism. However, the 
whole question requires fresh overhauling, which 
it would be idle to attempt within the limited space 
of a preface to a translation of the saga. 

Finally, one word about our treatment of the 
songs of these sagas. We have dealt with them 
even more literally than those of the sagas of the 
first volume. We have endeavoured to allow to 
the kemmignr or periphrastic expressions the same 
force in the translation as they bear in the original ; 
but considering that this method must necessarily 
carry with it a certain amount of obscurity to a 
modern reader, we have drawn up a list, under the 
heading Poetical periphrasis in Index HI.. "Sub- 
ject-matter," of all these kenningar in a way we 
thought would recommend itself best to students 
and oreneral readers alike. Our translation of the 
songs of the Ere-dwellers' saga is based on Vig- 
fusson's prose arrangement of the same at the end 

xlviii Preface. 

of his edition of that saga, those of the Heath- 
slayings' saga on Jon forkelsson's explanation in 
" Skyringar a visum i nokkurum islenzkum sogum, 
Reykjavik, 1868." 

The chronological list for the E re-dwellers' story 
follows in all essential points Vigfusson's table at 
the end of his edition ; for the Heath-slay ings' story 
we have followed his Timatal (excepting the date 
of the Heath-battle), not because we think it sound, 
but because it is the accepted chronology at 
present, as indeed it was long before he wrote. 

Genealogical tables have been added in order to 
facilitate the perusal of the book. 

An abstract of the Ere-dwellers' story, in 
English, by Walter Scott, was published in Illus- 
trations of Northern Antiquities, 1813, pp. 475- 
513, reprinted in P. Blackwell's Northern An- 
tiquities, 1847, pp. 517-540.— Of the Lay of the 
Mewlithers there is found what is meant for a 
translation into English, in the Corpus Poeticum, 
vol. ii., pp. 58-60. 


From Vigfusson's ed. of Eyrbyggja saga, Leipzig, 1^64,//. 127-129. 

ARI the Learned was the first to date Ingolf's settlement 
in Iceland. On his chronology that of our saga is 
based, since it not only mentions Ari as an authority 
consulted, but starts its time-reckoning from the year that Ari 
fixed for Ingolf's settlement, namely, 874. "Ten years "after- 
wards : 


884. Thorolf Mostbeard took land at Thorsness iii.-iv. 
886. Biorn the Easterner and Hallstein, son of 

Thorolf, settle in Broadfirth . . . vi. 
About 892. Aud the Deep-minded comes and settles 

" all the Dale-lands " . . . . ib. 

913. Thorstein Codbiter born .... vii. 

918. Death of Thorolf Mostbeard . . . ib. 
(930. The Althing inaugurated.) 
932-934. Feud between Thorsnessings and Kial- 

lekings. . . . . . . ix. 

About 935. Thorstein Codbiter builds the house of 

Holy-Fell xi. 

938. Thorstein Codbiter is drowned. His son 

Thorgrim born . . . . . ib. 
About 960. Thorgrim weds Thordis Sur's daughter; 

goes to Dyrafirth ..... xii. 
963. Thorgrim is slain by Gisli Surson. Snorri 

the Priest born ..... xiii. 
965. Thord the Yeller's constitution of the 

commonwealth carried .... x. 

The West-Quarter Thing set up at Thorsness ib 
II. d ' 

1 Chronological List. 


977. Snorri the Priest goes to Norway . . xiii. 

978. Snorri the Priest returns to Iceland . . ib. 
Eyolf the Gray slays Gisli Surson . . ib. 

979-980. Snorri the Priest sets up house at Holy- 
Fell XV. 

980. Death of Thorgrim Kiallakson. . . xvii. 
Illugi the Black carries his case at Thors- 

ness Thing against Tinforni . . . ib. 

981. The Mewlithe affairs . . . xviii.-xix. 

982. Strife at Thorsness Thing between the 

sons of Thord the Yeller and Eric the 

Red ....... xxiv. 

Eric the Red discovers Greenland . . ib. 

983. Snorri the Priest marries Asdis, daughter 

of Slaying Stir ..... xxviii. 

985. Thorod, son of Snorri the Priest, born, cf. xliv. 

986. Eric the Red goes to settle Greenland . xxiv. 
986-993. Rivalry between Snorri and Arnkel . xxx.-xxxvi. 

993. The slaying of Arnkel .... xxxvii. 

994. The blood-suit after Arnkel . . .xxxviii. 
New law passed concerning plaintiffs to 

blood-suits. Thorleif Kimbi goes abroad ib. 

996. Thorleif Kimbi and Biorn the Broadwickers' 

Champion return to Iceland . . . xl. 

997. Feud between the Ere-dwellers and Snorri 

the Priest ..... xxxix.-xlviii. 
Fight in Swanfirth in autumn . . . xliv. 
Fight in Swordfirth shortly before Christmas xlv. 
997-998. Biorn's visits to Thurid of Frodis-water 

renewed ...... xl. 

998. Peace made at Thorsness Thing between 

the Ere-dwellers and Snorri . . . xlvi. 
Snorri's attempt on Biorn the Broadwickers' 

Champion ...... xlvii. 

Biorn's last departure from Iceland in 

autumn ...... ib. 

1000. Discovery of Vineland. Christianity intro- 

duced in Iceland. Departure of Snorri 
and Thorleif, Thorbrand's sons, for Green- 
land ...... xlviii.-xlix. 

1 00 1. Wonders at Frodis-water .... l.-lv. 

Chronological List. li 


1006-1010. Snorri Thorbrandson joins Karlsefni to 

settle in Vineland. .... xlviii. 
Fight with the Skrselings. Death of Thor- 
brand Snorrison ..... ib. 

1008. Snorri and Gudrun, the daughter of Osvif, 

exchange abodes ..... Ivi. 

1009. Strife at Thorsness Thing between Snorri 

and Thorstein of Hafsfirthisle, who sets 
up the chiefship of Redmel (Rau^mel- 
inga go^orS) and an independent Thing 
at Streamfirth . . . . . ib. 
10 10-10 1 2. Snorri's deahngs with Uspak in Bitter and 

his band of robbers . . . Ivii.-lxii. 
1 03 1 . Death of Snorri the Priest in his sixty-eighth 

year . ..... Ixv. 




Commonly accepted chronology. 

1007. The slaying of Stir ..... Ivi. 

1008. Snorri goes to Burgfirth with a band of 

four hundred strong to summon Guest, 
the slayer of Stir. Foiled, he sets out in 
autumn with fifteen men, and kills Thor- 
stein Gislison and his son Gunnar. , ib. 
TOO 9. Blood-suit at the Althing after Thorstein . ib. 

By Jon Olafsson's rehearsal from memory 
of the lost fragment of the saga of Slay- 
ing Stir, Thorstein, son of Stir, under- 
takes to avenge his father ; follows Guest 
to Norway, then to Constantinople, but 
missing every chance of him, returns 
to Iceland ; and then first Snorri takes 
up the blood-suit. In this pursuit Thor- 
stein spent three years ; evidently a good 
deal more. From these memorial jottings. 

Hi Chronological List. 

considering what their accuracy amounts 
to, in points where they can be controlled, 
no bona-fide inference in favour of the 
Heath-fight having befallen in 1014 can 
be drawn. 

SLAYINGS' STORY (cf. Preface). 


102 1. Fight on the Heath . . . . . . xxx. 

1022. Peace made at the Althing. Bardi at Madder- 

vales ...... xxxvi.-xxxvii. 

1023. Bardi in Norway ...... xxxix. 

1024. in Denmark ...... ib. 

1025. returns to Iceland, and marries Unn, 

Snorri's daughter xxxix.-xl. 

1026. spends partly at Snorri's, partly in the 

North xl. 



1027. • goes to Norway with his wife . 

1028. dwells with Svein, son of Harek, in Thiotta 

divorces Unn ..... 

1029. goes to Russia ..... 

The notice in ch. xl. (p. 257, 22): "and as good friends 
they parted, Snorri and Bardi " (ok skiljast feir go^ir vinir 
Bardi ok Snorri) would be singularly out of place there unless 
the author had in his mind a fact, whereby the friendship then 
existing was destroyed. From this we infer that Bardi divorced 
Unn while Snorri was yet alive, as the saga gives to understand, 
not after his death, as Vigfusson suggests, Timatal, 462. 




Page 12, line ii, "Gro, the daughter of Geirleif of Bardstrand," 
;rfl^ Gro, the daughter of Geirleif, sister to Oddleif 
of Bardstrand. 

21, line 13, "Audum," read Audnnn. 

29, „ 29, "Gest," r^'a^ Guest. 

37, „ 27, dele "the prayer." 

52, ,, 25, " Laxriver,'V^a^ Laxrivers, cf Index II., s. v. 

53, „ 6, '' thee," read ye. 
83, M 25, "at Thorswater-dale," read in Thorswater- 

112, line 22, "shoulder," rm^ Shoulder. 
124, „ 13, "up to Much Bank," read out to Much Bank. 
156, „ 21, "Rhine-fires," ?ra^ Rhine-fire's. 
i79j » 9, " Gunnlaug," rm^ Gudlaug. 
184, „ 31, " Laxdale," r^^^Laxwater-dale. 

„ 201, „ 31, de/e the comma after "nought." 

„ 213, „ 2, de/e " (for food)." 

,,222, „ 33, " Copse," r^a^/Copsedale. 

,,231, „ 29, " Hallkeldstead," r^dr^ Hallkelstead. 

» 239, „ 30, " Thorgisl and Eric and Thorod." Thorgisl 
and Thorod are the Ternmere brothers, sons of 
Hermund, Bardi's uncle. 

„ 239, line 31, " Thorgisl," t'.e., Thorgisl the Hewer. 

„ 240, „ 3, "Now Thorgisl (Hermundson)," read Now 
Thorgisl (the Hewer). 

„ 240, hne 8, "Then spake Thorgisl (the Hewer)," read 
Then spake Thorgisl (Hermundson) ; cf. note to 
p. 240, lines II, 12. 

„ 250, line 26 ff., read "He and his had handselled their land 
and stock, in case this should be the end of the 
matter ; the which they could not surely tell before- 
hand. That man (to whom land and stock were 
handselled) was hight Thorod ... he was to have 
(the handselled land and stock) for three winters." 
This explains his refusal to rescind the contract, 
when called upon in the following year to do so ; cf. 
notes to p. 254, lines 20, 27 (p. 304). 

„ 312, footnote, " Gudmundson," rm^ Solmundson. 

For other corrections see Notes. 




II. B 

><> > ii <» 





KETIL FLATNEB was hight a famous 
hersir in Norway ; he was the son of Biorn 
Rough-foot, the son of Grim, a hersir of 
Sogn. Ketil Flatneb was a wedded man; he had 
to wife Yngvild, daughter of Ketil Wether, a 
hersir of Raumarik ; Biorn and Helgi were hight 
their sons, but their daughters were these, Auth 
the Deep-minded, Thorun the Horned, and Jorun 
Manwitbrent. Biorn, the son of Ketil, was fostered 
east in lamtaland with that earl who was called 
Kiallak, a wise man, and most renowned; he had 
a son whose name was Biorn, and a daughter 
hight Giaflaug. That was in the days when King 
Harald Hairfair came to the rule of Norway. Be- 
cause of that unpeace many noble men fled from 
their lands out of N orway ; some east over the Keel, 
some VVest-over-the-sea. Some there were withal 
who in winter kept themselves in the South-isles, 
or the Orkneys, but in summer harried in Nor- 

4 The Saga Library. 

way and wrought much scathe in the kingdom of 
Harald the king. 

Now the bonders bemoaned them of that to the 
king, and prayed him dehver them from that un- 
peace. Then Harald the king took such rede that 
he caused dight an army for West -over- the-sea, 
and said that Ketil Flatneb should be captain of 
that host. Ketil begged off therefrom, but the 
king said he must needs go ; and when Ketil saw 
that the king would have his will, he betook him- 
self to the faring, and had with him his wife and 
those of his children who were at home. But when 
Ketil came West-over-the-sea, some deal of fight- 
ing had he and his, and ever got the victory. 
He laid under him the South-isles, and made him- 
self chief over them. Then he made peace with 
the mightiest chiefs West-over-the-sea, and made 
alliances with them, and therewithal sent the army 
back east. But when they met Harald the king» 
they said that Ketil Flatneb was lord of the South- 
isles, but that they wotted not if he would drag the 
rule west of the sea to King Harald. But when 
the kino- knew that, he took to himself those lands 
that Ketil owned in Norway. 

Ketil Flatneb gave his daughter Auth to Olaf 
the White, who at that time was the greatest war- 
king West-over-the-sea ; he was the son of Ingiald, 
the son of Helgi ; but the mother of Ingiald was 
Thora, the daughter of Sigurd Worm-in-eye, the 
son of Ragnar Hairy-breeks. Thorun the Horned 
he gave in wedlock to Helgi the Lean, the son of 
Eyvind the Eastman and Rafarta, the daughter 
of Kiarfal, Kinq- of the Irish. 

The Ere-Dwellers. 


BIORN the son of Ketil Flatneb was in 
lamtaland till Kiallak the earl died ; he 
gat to wife Giaflaug- the earl's daughter, 
and thereafter fared west over the Keel, first to 
Thrandheim and then south through the land, and 
took to himself those lands which his father had 
owned, and drove away the bailiffs that King 
Harald had set over them. King Harald was in 
the Wick when he heard that, and thereon he 
fared by the inland road north to Thrandheim, and 
when he came there he summoned an eight-folks' 
mote ; and at that mote he made Biorn Ketilson 
outlaw from Norway, a man to be slain or taken 
wheresoever he mi^ht be found. Thereafter he 
sent Hawk High-breeks and other of his warriors 
to slay him if they might find him. But when they 
came south beyond Stath, the friends of Biorn 
became ware of their journey and sent him tidings 
thereof. Then Biorn got him aboard a bark which 
he owned, with his household and chattels, and fled 
away south along the land, because that this was 
in the heart of winter, and he durst not make for 
the main. Biorn fared on till he came to the island 
called Most which lies off South- Hordaland, and 
there a man hight Rolf took him in, who was the 
son of Ornolf the Fish-driver. There lay Biorn 
privily the winter through. But the king's men 
turned back when they had settled Biorn's lands 
and set men over them. 

6 The Saga Library. 


ROLF was a mighty chief, and a man of the 
greatest largesse ; he had the ward of 
Thor's temple there in the island, and was 
a great friend of Thor. And therefore he was 
called Thorolf. He was a big man and a strong, 
fair to look on, and had a great beard ; therefore 
was he called Most-beard, and he was the noblest 
man in the island. 

In the spring Thorolf gave Biorn a good long- 
ship manned with a doughty crew, and gave him 
Hallstein his son to bear him fellowship ; and 
therewith they sailed West-over-the-sea to meet 
Biorn's kindred. 

But when King Harald knew that Thorolf Most- 
beard had harboured Biorn Ketilson the king's 
outlaw, then sent he men to see him and bade him 
begone from his lands, and fare as an outlaw even 
as Biorn his friend, but if he come and meet the 
king and lay the whole matter in his hand. This 
was ten winters after Ingfolf Arnarson had fared 
out to take up his abode in Iceland, and that faring 
was grown to be very famous, because that those 
men who came out from Iceland told of good choice 
of land therein. 

The Ere-Dwellers. 


sacrifice, and asked of T hor his well-beloved 
friend whether he should make peace with 
the king, or get him gone from out the land and 
seek other fortunes. But the Word showed Thorolf 
to Iceland ; and thereafter he got for himself a 
great ship meet for the main, and trimmed it for the 
Iceland-faring, and had with him his kindred and 
his household goods ; and many friends of his be- 
took themselves to faring with him. He pulled 
down the temple, and had with him most of the 
timbers which had been therein, and mould more- 
over from under the stall whereon Thor had sat. 

Thereafter Thorolf sailed into the main sea, and 
had wind at will, and made land, and sailed south 
along and west about Reekness, and then fell the 
wind, and they saw that two big bights cut into 
the land. 

Then Thorolf cast overboard the pillars of his 
high-seat, which had been in the temple, and on 
one of them was Thor carven ; withal he spake 
over them, that there he would abide in Iceland, 
whereas Thor should let those pillars come a- 

But when they drifted from off the ship they 
were borne towards the westernmost firth in sight, 
and folk deemed that they went in sooth no slower 
than might have been looked for. 

After that came a sea breeze, and they sailed west 
about Snowfellsness and stood into the firth. There 

8 TJie Saga Library. 

see they that the firth is mighty broad and long, 
with great fells rising on either side thereof. Then 
Thorolf gave name to the firth and called it Broad- 
firth. He took land on the south side of the firth, 
nigh the midmost, and laid his ship in the creek, 
which thereafter they called Templewick. 

Thereafter they espied the land and found on 
the outermost point ofaness north of the bay that 
Thor was come a-land with the pillars. That was 
afterwards called Thorsness. 

Thereafter Thorolf fared with fire through his 
land out from Staff-river in the west, and east to 
that river which is now called Thors-river, and 
settled his shipmates there. But he set up for 
himself a great house at Templewick which he 
called Templestead. There he let build a temple, 
and a mighty house it was. There was a door in 
the side-wall and nearer to one end thereof. Within 
the door stood the pillars of the high-seat, and 
nails were therein ; they were called the Gods' 
nails. Therewithin was there a great frith-place. 
But off the inmost house was there another house, of 
that fashion whereof now is the choir of a church, 
and there stood a stall in the midst of the floor in 
the fashion of an altar, and thereon lay a ring 
without a join that weighed twenty ounces, and on 
that must men swear all oaths ; and that ring must 
the chief have on his arm at all man-motes. 

On the stall should also stand the blood-bowl, 
and therein the blood-rod was, like unto a sprinkler, 
and therewith should be sprinkled from the bowl 
that blood which is called " Hlaut," which was 
that kind of blood which flowed when those beasts 

The Ere-Dwellevs. 9 

were smitten who were sacrificed to the Gods. But 
round about the stall were the Gods arrayed in 
the Holy Place. 

To that temple must all men pay toll, and be 
bound to follow the temple-priest in all Tarings even 
as now are the thingmen of chiefs. But the chief 
must uphold the temple at his own charges, so that 
it should not go to waste, and hold therein feasts 
of sacrifice. 

Now Thorolf called that ness Thorsness which 
lieth between Swordfirth and Templewick ; on 
the ness is a fell, and that fell Thorolf held in such 
worship that he laid down that no man unwashed 
should turn his eyes thither, and that nought should 
be done to death on the fell, either man or beast, 
until it went therefrom of its own will. That fell 
he called Holy Fell, and he trowed that thither he 
should fare when he died, and all his kindred from 
the ness. On the tongue of the ness whereas Thor 
had come a-land he made all dooms be held, and 
thereon he set up a county Thing. 

And so holy a place that was, that he would no- 
wise that men should defile the field with blood- 
shedding, and moreover none should go thither for 
their needs, but to that end was appointed a skerry 
called Dirtskerry. 

Now Thorolf waxed of great largesse in his 
housekeeping, and had many men about him ; for 
in those days meat was good to get both from the 
isles and from the take of the sea. 

lo The Saga Library. 


NOW must we tell of Biorn, the son of 
Ketil Flatneb, that he sailed West-over- 
the-sea when he and Thorolf Most-beard 
sundered as is aforesaid. 

He made for the South-isles ; but when he 
came West-over-the-sea, then was Ketil Flatneb 
his father dead, but he found there Helgi his 
brother and his sisters, and they offered him good 
entertainment with them. 

But Biorn saw that they had another troth, and 
nowise manly it seemed to him that they had cast 
off the faith that their kin had held ; and he had 
no heart to dwell therein, and would not take up 
his abode there. Yet was he the winter through 
with Auth his sister and Thorstein her son. 

But when they found that he would not be at 
one with his kindred, they called him Biorn the 
Easterner, and deemed it ill that he would not 
abide there. 


BIORN was two winters in the South-isles 
before he dight him to fare to Iceland ; 
with him in that faring was Hallstein 
Thorolfson ; and they made haven at Broadfirth, 
and took land out from Staff-river, betwixt that 
and Lavafirth, by Thorolf 's rede. Biorn dwelt 
at Burgholt in Bearhaven, and he was the most 
noble-hearted of men. 

The Ere-Dwellers. 1 1 

Hallstein, the son of Thorolf, deemed it less 
than manly to take land at the hands of his father ; 
so he fared west over Broadfirth, and there took 
to himself land, and dwelt at Hallsteinsness. 

Certain winters thereafter came out Auth the 
Deep-minded ; and the first winter she was with 
Biorn her brother, but afterwards she made her 
own all the Dale-lands in Broadfirth between 
Skraumuhlaups - river and Daymeal - water, and 
dwelt at Hvamm. 

In those days was all Broadfirth settled ; but 
little need there is to speak of the land-taking of 
those men who come not into the story. 


'^ I ^HERE was a man hight Geirrod who 
took land from Thors-river eastward unto 


Longdale, and dwelt at Ere ; with him 
came out Ulfar the Champion, to whom Geirrod 
gave lands round about Ulfar's-fell ; with him too 
came Fingeir, son of Thorstein Snowshoe. He 
dwelt in Swanfirth, and his son was Thorfin, the 
father of Thorbrand of Swanfirth. 

There was a man hight Vestar, son of Thorolf 
Bladderpate ; he brought to Iceland his father, 
a man well on in years, and took land west away 
from Whalefirth, and dwelt at Onward-ere. His 
son was Asgeir, who dwelt there afterwards. 

Biorn the Easterner died the first of these land- 
settlers, and was buried at Burgbrook. He left 
behind two sons : one was Kiallak the Old, who 
dwelt at Bearhaven after his father. Kiallak had 

1 2 rite Saga Library. 

to wife Astrid, daughter of Rolf the Hersir, and 
sister of Steinolf the Low. They had three 
children : Thorgrim the Priest was a son of theirs, 
and their daughter was Gerd, she whom Thormod 
the Priest, son of Odd the Strong, had to wife ; 
their third child was Helga, whom Asgeir of Ere 
had to wife. 

From the children of Kiallak is sprung a great 
kindred, which is called the Kiallekings. 

Ottar was the name of another son of Biorn ; 
he married Gro, the daughter of Geirleif of Bard- 
strand. Their sons were these : Helgi, the father 
of Osvif the Wise, and Biorn, the father of Vigfus 
of Drapalith ; but Vilgeir was the third son of 
Ottar Biornson. 

Thorolf Most-beard married in his old age, and 
had to wife her who is called Unn ; some say that 
she was daughter of Thorstein the Red, but Ari the 
Learned, son of Thorgils, numbers her not among 
his children. Thorolf and Unn had a son who 
was called Stein ; that lad Thorolf gave to Thor 
his friend, and called him Thorstein, and the boy 
was very quick of growth. 

Now Hallstein Thorolfson had to wife Osk, 
daughter of Thorstein the Red ; Thorstein was 
their son ; he was fostered at Thorolf 's, and was 
called Thorstein the Swart; but his own son Thorolf 
called Thorstein Codbiter. 

The Ere-Dwellers. 13 


IN those days came out Geirrid, the sister of 
Geirrod of Ere, and he gave her dwelHng in 
Burgdale up from Swanfirth. She let build 
her hall athwart the highway, and all men should 
ride through it who passed by. Therein stood ever 
a table, and meat to be given to whomsoever had 
will thereto, and therefore was she deemed to be the 
greatest and noblest of women. Biorn, son of Bol- 
verk Blinding-snout, had had Geirrid to wife, and 
their son was called Thorolf, and was a mighty 
viking ; he came out some time after his mother, 
and was with her the first winter. Thorolf deemed 
the lands of Burgdale but too narrow, and he chal- 
lenged Ulfar the Champion for his lands, and bade 
him to the holm-gang because he was an old man 
and a childless. But Ulfar had liefer die than be 
cowed by Thorolf. They went to holm in Swan- 
firth, and Ulfar fell, but Thorolf was wounded in 
the leg, and went halt ever after, and therefore was 
he called Halt-foot. Now he set up house in 
Hvamm in Thorsriverdale. He took to himself 
the land after Ulfar, and was the most wrongful 
of men. He sold land to the freedmen of Thor- 
brand of Swanfirth ; Ulfar's-fell to Ulfar, to wit, 
and Orligstead to Orlig ; and they dwelt there 
long after. Thorolf Halt-foot had three children ; 
his son was called Arnkel, but his daughter Gunn- 
frid, whom Thorbein of Thorbeinstead up on Water- 
neck east from Drapalith had to wife ; their sons 
were Sigmund and Thorgils, but their daughter 
was hight Thorgerd, whom Vigfus of Drapalith 

14 The Saga Library 

had to wife. Another daughter of Thorolf was 
Geirrid, whom Thorolf the son of Heriolf Holkin- 
razi had to wife. They dweh at MewHthe ; their 
children were Thorarin the Swart and Gudny. 


Templestead, and then Thorstein Cod- 
biter took his inheritance after him. He 
then took to wife Thora, daughter of Olaf Feilan 
and sister of Thord the Yeller, who dwelt at 
Hvamm in those days. 

Thorolf was buried at Howness, west of Temple- 

At that time so great was the pride of the kin 
of Kiallak, that they thought themselves before 
all other men in that countryside ; and so many 
were the kinsmen of Biorn that there was no 
kindred so mighty in all Broadfirth. 

In those days Barne- Kiallak, their kinsman, 
dwelt in Midfell -strand, at the stead which is now 
called Kiallakstead, and a many sons he had who 
were of good conditions ; they all brought help to 
their kin south of the firth at Things and folk- 

On a spring-tide at Thorsness Thing these 
brothers-in-law Thorgrim Kiallakson and Asgeir 
of Ere gave out that they would not give a lift to 
the pride of the Thorsness-folk, and that they 
would o;o their errands in the g-rass as otherwhere 
men do in man-motes, though those men were so 

The E re-Dwellers. 15 

proud that they made their lands holier than other 
lands of Broadfirth. They gave forth that they 
would not tread shoe for the going to the out- 
skerries for their easements. 

But when Thorstein Codbiter was ware of this, 
he had no will that they should defile that field 
which Thorolf his father had honoured over all 
other places in his lands. 

So he called his friends to him, and bade them 
keep those folk from the field by battle if they 
were minded to defile it. 

In this rede were with him Thorgeir the son 
of Geirrod of Ere, and the Swanfirthers Thorfin 
and Thorbrand his son, Thorolf Halt-foot, and 
many other thingmen and friends of Thorstein. 

But in the evening when the Kiallekings were 
full of meat they took their weapons and went out 
on to the ness ; but when Thorstein and his folk 
saw that they turned off from the road that lay 
skerry-ward, they sprang to their weapons and 
ran after them with whooping and egging on. 
And when the Kiallekings saw that, they ran 
together and defended themselves. 

But those of Thorsness made so hard an onset 
that Kiallak and his men shrunk off the field and 
down to the foreshore, and then they turned 
against them therewith, and there was a hard battle 
between them ; the Kiallekings were the fewer, 
but they had a chosen band. But now the men 
of Woodstrand were ware of this, Thor^est the 
Old and Aslak of Longdale ; they ran thereto 
and went betwixt them ; but both sides were of 
the fiercest, nor could they sunder them before 

1 6 The Saga Library. 

they gave out that they would aid those who should 
hearken to their bidding to sunder. 

Therewith were they parted, but yet in such 
wise that the Kiallekings might not go up on to 
the field ; so they took ship, and fared away from 
the Thing. 

There fell men of either side, the most of the 
Kiallekings ; and a many were hurt. No truce 
could be struck, because neither side would 
handsel it, but swore to fall on each other as soon 
as it might be brought about. The field was all 
bloody whereas they fought, as well as there 
whereas the men of Thorsness had stood while the 
fight was toward. 


AFTER the Thing the chiefs on either side 
sat at home with many men about them, 
and much ill blood there was between them. 
Their friends took this rede, to send word 
to Thord the Yeller, who was then the greatest 
chief in Broadfirth: he was akin to the Kiallekings, 
but closely allied to Thorstein ; therefore he seemed 
to be the likeliest of men to settle peace between 
them. But when this message came to Thord, he 
fared thither with many men, and strove to make 
peace. He found that far apart were the minds of 
them ; yet he brought about truce between them, 
and a meeting to be summoned. The close of the 
matter was that Thord should make it up, on such 
terms that whereas the Kiallekinors laid down that 
they would never go their errands to Dirtskerry, 

The Ere-Dwellers. 17 

Thorstein claimed that they should not defile the 
field now more than aforetime. The Kiallekings 
claimed that all they who had fallen on Thorstein's 
part should be fallen unhallowed, because they had 
first set on them with the mind to fight. But the 
Thorsnessings said that all the Kiallekings had 
fallen unhallowed because of their law-breaking at 
a Holy Thing. 

But though the terms laid down were hard for 
the award, yet Thord yeasaid the taking it on him 
rather than that they should part unappeased. 
Now Thord thus set forth the beginning of the 
award : " Let hap abide as hap befell ; " said that 
for no manslayings nor hurts which had happed at 
Thorsness should man-gild be paid. The field he 
gave out unhallowed because of the blood shed in 
wrath that had fallen thereon, and that land he de- 
clared now no holier than another, laying down that 
the cause thereof were those who first bestirred them 
to wounding others. And that he called the only 
peace-breaking that had betid, and said withal 
that no Thing should be held there thenceforward. 
But that they might be well appeased and friends 
thenceforth, he made this further award, that Thor- 
grim Kiallakson should uphold the temple half at 
his own costs, and answer for half the temple toll, 
and the Thingmen the other half. He should also 
help Thorstein thenceforth in all law-cases, and 
strengthen him in whatso hallowing he might be- 
stow on the Thing, whereso it should next be set up. 

Withal Thord the Yeller gave to Thorgrim 
Kiallakson Thorhild his kinswoman, the daughter 
of Thorkel Main-acre his neighbour ; and thence- 

II. c 

1 8 The Saga Library. 

forth was he called Thorgrim the Priest. Then they 
moved the Thing up the ness, where it now is ; 
and whenas Thord the Yeller settled the Quarter 
Thinofs, he caused this to be the Quarter Thingr of 
the Westfirthers, and men should seek to that 
Thing from all over the Westfirths. There is yet 
to be seen the Doom-ring, where men were doomed 
to the sacrifice. In that ring stands the stone 
of Thor over which those men were broken who 
were sacrificed, and the colour of the blood on that 
stone is yet to be seen. 

And at that Thing was one of the holiest of steads, 
but there men were not forbidden to go their errands. 


man of the greatest largesse ; he had ever 
with him sixty freedmen ; he was a great 
gatherer of household stuff, and was ever going a- 

He first let raise the homestead at Holyfell, and 
brought thither his household, and it was the 
greatest of temple-steads of those days. 

Withal he let make a homestead on the ness 
near to where had been the Thing. That home- 
stead he let make well arrayed, and he gave it 
afterwards to Thorstein the Swart, his kinsman, 
who dwelt there thenceforth, and was the wisest of 
men. Thorstein Codbiter had a son who was 
called Bork the Thick. But on a summer when 
Thorstein was five-and-twenty winters old, Thora 

The Eve-Dwellers. 


bore him a man-child who was called Grim, and 
sprinkled with water. That lad Thorstein gave to 
Thor, and said that he should be a Temple-Priest, 
and called him Thorgrim. 

That same harvest Thorstein fared out to Hos- 
kuldsey to fish ; but on an evening of harvest a 
shepherd-man of Thorstein's fared after his sheep 
north of Holyfell ; there he saw how the fell was 
opened on the north side, and in the fell he saw 
mighty fires, and heard huge clamour therein, and 
the clank of drinking-horns ; and when he 
hearkened if perchance he might hear any words 
clear of others, he heard that there was welcomed 
Thorstein Codbiter and his crew, and he was bidden 
to sit in the high-seat over against his father. 

That foretoken the shepherd told in the evening 
to Thora, Thorstein's wife ; she spake little thereon, 
and said that might be a foreboding of greater 

The morning after came men west-away from 
Hoskuldsey and told these tidings : that Thorstein 
Codbiter had been drowned in the fishing; and men 
thought that great scathe. Thora went on keep- 
ing house there afterwards, and thereto joined him- 
self with her he who is called Hall ward ; they had 
a son tog-ether, who was called Mar, 


THE sons of Thorstein Codbiter grew up at 
home with their mother, and they were 
the hopefullest of men ; but Thorgrim was 
the foremost of them in all things, and was a chief 

20 The Saga Library. 

as soon as he had age thereto. Thorgrim wedded 
west in Dyrafirth, and had to wife Thordis Sur's 
daughter, and betook himself west to his brothers- 
in-law Gisli and Thorkel. 

Now Thorgrim slew Vestein Vesteinson at the 
harvest feast in Hawkdale ; but the autumn next 
after, when Thorgrim was five-and-twenty years 
old, even as his father, Gisli his brother-in-law 
slew him at the harvest feast at Seastead. Some 
nights after Thordis his wife brought forth a son, 
and the lad was called Thorgrim after his father. 
A little thereafter Thordis was wedded to Bork the 
Thick, Thorgrim's brother, and betook her to house- 
keeping with him at Holyfell. Then fared Thor- 
grim her son to Swanfirth, and was there at foster- 
ing with Thorbrand ; he was somewhat reckless in 
his youth, and was called Snerrir, but afterwards 
Snorri. Thorbrand of Swanfirth had to wife Thurid, 
daughter of Thorfin Selthorison from Redmell. 

These were their children : Thorleif Kimbi was 
the eldest, the second was Snorri, the third Thorod, 
the fourth Thorfin, the fifth Thormod ; their 
daughter was called Thorgerd ; all these were 
foster-brethren of Snorri Thorgrimson. 

At that time Arnkel, son of Thorolf Halt- 
foot, dwelt at Lairstead by Vadils-head ; he was the 
biggest and strongest of men, a great lawman and 
mighty wise, and was a good and true man, and 
before all others, even in those parts, in luck of 
friends and hardihood ; he was withal a Temple- 
Priest, and had many Thingmen. 

Thorgrim Kiallakson dwelt at Bearhaven as is 
aforesaid, and he and Thorhild had three sons : 

The Ere-Dwellers. 2 1 

Brand was the eldest ; he dwelt at Crossness by 
Sealriver head. Another was Arngrim ; he was a 
big man and a strong, large of nose, big-boned of 
face, bleak-red of hair, early bald in front ; sallow 
of hue, his eyes great and fair ; he was very 
masterful, and exceeding in wrongfulness, and 
therefore was he called Stir. 

Vermund was the name of the youngest son of 
Thorgrim Kiallakson ; he was a tall man and a 
slender, fair to look on ; he was called Vermund 
the Slender. The son of Asgeir of Ere was called 
Thorlak ; he had to wife Thurid, the daughter of 
Audum Stote of Lavafirth. These were their 
children : Steinthor, Bergthor, Thormod, Thord 
Wall-eye, and Helga. Steinthor was the foremost 
of the children of Thorlak ; he was a big man and 
a strong, and most skilled in arms of all men, and 
he was the best knit of men, and meek of mood in 
every-day life. Steinthor is held for the third 
best man-at-arms of Iceland, along with these, 
Helgi, the son of Droplaug, and Vemund Kogr. 

Thormod was a wise man and a peaceful. Thord 
Wall-eye was a very masterful man. Bergthor was 
the youngest, yet had he all the makings of a man 
in him. 


winters old when he fared abroad with 
his foster-brothers Thorleif Kimbi and 
Thorod. Bork the Thick gave him fifty hundreds 
in silver for his voyage. They had a good voyage, 

22 The Saga Library. 

and came to Norway in harvest, and were the 
winter through in Rogaland. 

Snorri abode with ErHng Skialgson at Soh, and 
ErHng was good to him because of the ancient 
friendship between their former kinsmen, Horda- 
Kari and Thorolf Most-beard to wit. 

The summer after they fared out to Iceland and 
were late-ready. They had a hard outing of it, and 
came a little before winter to Hornfirth ; but when 
the Broadfirthers dight them from shipboard, far 
asunder showed the array of the twain, Snorri and 
Thorleif Kimbi. Thorleif bought the best horse he 
could get, and had withal a fair-stained saddle, and 
glittering and fair-dight sword, and gold-inlaid 
spear, and his shield was dark blue and much 
gilded about ; and all his clothes were well wrought 
withal. He had spent thereon pretty much all his 
faring-money ; but Snorri was clad in a black 
cape, and rode a black mare, a good one. He had 
an ancient trough-saddle, and his weapons were 
little wrought for show. But the array of Thorod 
was between the two. 

They rode from the east over the Side, and then 
as the road lay, west to Burgfirth, and so west 
across the Flats, and guested at Swanfirth. There- 
after Snorri rode to Holyfell, and was minded to 
abide there the winter through. Bork, however, 
took that matter slowly, and folk had much 
laughter over his array. Bork let out so much as 
that he had done unhappily with the faring-money, 
since it was all gone. 

But one day in the beginning of winter, at Holy- 
fell in came twelve men all armed. And there was 
come Eyolf the Gray, a kinsman of Bork and son of 

The Ere-Dwellers. 23 

Thord the Yeller ; he dwelt at Otterdale west in 
Ernfirth. But when folk asked for tidings, they 
said that they had slain Gisli Surson, and told of 
the men who were fallen before him or ever he 
fell. At these tidings was Bork exceeding glad, 
and bade Thordis and Snorri welcome Eyolf at 
their best, as a man who had thrust off so much 
shame from the hands of them and their kin. 

Snorri let out little over those tidings, but 
Thordis said : " Cheer good enough for Gisli's 
bane if grout is given him." 

Bork answered : " I meddle not with meals." 

So Bork set Eyolf in the high-seat, and his fellows 
out from him, and they cast their weapons on the 
floor. Bork sat inside of Eyolf, and then Snorri. 
Thordis bare in dishes of grout to the board, 
and had spoons withal ; but when she set one 
before Eyolf, one of the spoons fell down for 
her. She stooped after it, and took Eyolf's 
sword therewith and drew it swiftly, and thrust it 
up under the board, and the thrust smote Eyolf's 
thigh, but the hilt caught against the board ; yet 
was the hurt sore. Bork thrust the table away 
and smote at Thordis, but Snorri thrust Bork 
away, so that he fell over, and caught hold of his 
mother and set her down beside him, and said that 
enough were her heart-burnings though she were 
left unbeaten. 

Then sprang up Eyolf and his men, and man 
caught hold of man ; but such was the end of these 
matters that Bork handselled self-doom to Eyolf, 
and much fee he awarded himself for his hurt; and 
withal he fared away. But thereof waxed much 
ill-will betwixt the twain, Bork and Snorri. 

24 The Saga Library, 



T the Spring Thing the next summer 
Snorri claimed his father's heritage from 
Bork. Bork answered that he would 
yield him his heritage. " But I am loth," said 
he, " to share Holyfell asunder, though I see that 
it is meet for us not to dwell in one stead together. 
So I will redeem my share of the land." Snorri 
answered : *' It is most fair that thou shouldst lay 
the land at as dear a price as thou wilt, but fair 
also that I choose which of us shall redeem it." 

Bork thought over that matter, and so deemed 
that Snorri would not have loose money to give 
for the land if he should have to redeem it speedily, 
and he laid the worth of half the land at sixty 
hundreds of silver, having first set aside the 
islands, because he thought that he should get 
them at but little price when Snorri should have set 
up house and home otherwhere. 

There followed therewith that the money should 
be straightway paid up, and nought of the money 
should be borrowed from other folk. " And choose 
thou now, Snorri, here on the spot which thou wilt 
take," said Bork. 

Snorri answered : " This know I now, kinsman 
Bork, that thou deemest me sick of purse when 
thou layest down the land of Holyfell so good 
cheap ; yet I choose to take to me my father's 
land at that price, so reach me out thine hand, and 
handsel me now the land." 

" That shall not be," said Bork, " before every 
penny is first yolden." 

The Ere-Dwellers. 25 

Then said Snorri to Thorbrand his foster-father : 
" Did I hand over to thee any money last autumn ? " 
" Yea," said Thorbrand, and therewith drew a 
purse from under his cape. Then was the silver 
told, and every penny paid for the land, and after 
that was left in the purse sixty hundreds of silver. 

Bork took the money, and gave handsel to 
Snorri of the land. 

Then said Bork : " More of silver hast thou got, 
kinsman, than we wotted ; now I will that we give 
up the ill-will which was between us ; and I will 
add this to thy well-doing, that we keep house 
both together at Holyfell these seasons, since thou 
hast little of live-stock." 

Snorri answered : " Well then, thou shalt make 
the most of thy live-stock; but yet from Holyfell 
shalt thou get thee gone." And so must it be even 
as Snorri would. 

But when Bork was ready to depart from Holy- 
fell, Thordis went forth and named witnesses to this 
for herself, that she gave out that she was parted 
from Bork her husband, and gave that for the cause 
that he had smitten her, and she would not lie 
under his hand. Then were their goods divided, 
and Snorri stood forth for his mother because he 
was her heir. Then Bork took the lot which he 
had minded for another, that he got but a little 
price for the islands. 

Thereafter Bork fared away from Holyfell, and 
west to Midfell-strand, and dwelt first at Bork- 
stead between Orris-knoll and Tongue. 

26 The Saga Library. 


at Holyfell, and his mother was over 
the housekeeping. Mar Hallwardson, his 
father's brother, betook himself thither with much 
live-stock, and was head over Snorri's household 
and husbandry. There Snorri held a thronged 
house of the greatest largesse. 

Snorri was middling in height and somewhat 
slender, fair to look on, straight-faced and of light 
hue ; of yellow hair and red beard ; he was meek of 
mood in his daily ways ; little men knew of his 
thought for good or ill ; he was a wise man, and 
foreseeing in many things, enduring in wrath and 
deep in hatred ; of good rede was he for his friends, 
but his unfriends deemed his counsels but cold. 

He was now Warden of the Temple there ; there- 
fore was he called Snorri the Priest, and a great 
chief he became; but for his rule he was much 
envied, because there were many who for the sake 
of their kin thought they were of no less worth 
than he, but had more to fall back upon, because 
of their strength and proven hardihood. 

Now Bork the Thick and Thordis Sur's daughter, 
had a daughter who was called Thurid, and was 
at this time wedded to Thorbiorn the Thick, 
who dwelt at Frodis- water. He was the son of 
Worm the Slender, who had dwelt there and had 
settled the land of Frodis-water ; he had before had 
to wife Thurid of Broadwick, daughter of Asbrand 
of Combe ; she was sister to Biorn, the Champion 

The Ere-Dwellers, 27 

of the Broadwickers, who hereafter cometh again 
into this tale, and to Arnbiorn the Strong. These 
were the sons of Thorbiorn and Thurid : Ketil 
the Champion, Gunnlaug, and Hallstein. 

But Thorbiorn of Frodis-water was overbearing 
and reckless with men lesser than he. 

I n those days dwelt at M ewlithe, Geirrid, daughter 
of Thorolf Halt-foot, with Thorarin the Swart, her 
son. He was a big man and a strong; ugly he 
was, and moody and quiet in his daily guise : he 
was called the Peace-maker. He had not much 
wealth to boast of, yet was his housekeeping 
gainful. So little of a meddler was he, that his 
foes said that he had no less the heart of a woman 
than a man. He was a married man, and his 
wife was called Aud ; Gudny was his sister, whom 
Vermund the Slender had to wife. 

At Holt, west of Mewlithe, dwelt a widow who 
was called Katla. She was fair to look upon, 
but yet not to all men's minds. Her son was called 
Odd ; he was a big man and of good pith, a 
mighty brawler, and babbling, slippery, and slan- 

Now Gunnlaug, the son of Thorbiorn the Thick, 
was eager to learn ; he often stayed at Mewlithe, 
because she knew much wizard lore. But on a day 
Gunnlaug came to Holt on his way to Mewlithe, 
and talked much with Katla ; but she asked if he 
were minded once more for Mewlithe to pat the 
old carline's belly there. Gunnlaug said that was 
not his errand, " but thou art not so young, Katla, 
that it befits thee to cast Geirrid's eld in her teeth." 

28 The Saga Library. 

Katla answered : " I did not deem that we were 
so like herein ; but it matters not," said she ; " ye 
men deem that there is no woman beside Geirrid, 
but more women know somewhat than she 

Odd Katlason fared often to Mewlithe with 
Gunnlaug; but when they happened to go back 
late, Katla would often bid Gunnlaug to abide 
there at Holt, but he went home ever. 


ON a day at the beginning of that winter 
wherein Snorri first kept house at Holy- 
fell, it befell that Gunnlaug Thorbiornson 
fared to Mewlithe, and Odd Katlason with him. 
Gunnlaug and Geirrid talked long together that 
day, and when the evening was far spent Geirrid 
said to Gunnlaug : "I would that thou go not 
home this evening, for there will be many ride-by- 
nights about, and oft is a fiend in a fair skin ; but 
methinks that now thou seemest not over-lucky to 
look upon." 

Gunnlaug answered : "No risk may there be to 
me," says he, " since we are two together." 

She said : " No gain will Odd's help be to thee, 
and withal thou wilt thyself have to pay for thine 
own wilfulness." 

Thereafter they went out, Gunnlaug and Odd, 
and fared till they came to Holt. Katla was by 
then in her bed ; she bade Odd pray Gunnlaug 
to abide there. He said he had so done, "and he 

The Ere-Dwellers. 29 

must needs fare home," said he. " Let him fare 
then as his fate he shapes," says she. 

Gunnlaug came not home in the evening, and 
folk talked it over that he should be searched for ; 
but the search came not off. But in the night, when 
Thorbiorn looked out, he found Gunnlaug his son 
before the door ; and there he lay witless withal. 
Then was he borne in and his clothes pulled off; 
he was all black and blue about the shoulders, and 
the flesh was falling from the bones. He lay all 
the winter sick of his hurts, and great talk there 
was over that sickness of his. Odd Katlason 
spread that about that Geirrid must have ridden 
him ; for he said that they had parted with short 
words that evening. And most men deemed that 
it was even thus. 

This was about the summoning days. So Thor- 
biorn rode to Mewlithe and summoned Geirrid for 
this cause, that she was a ride-by-night and had 
brought about Gunnlaug's trouble. The case went 
to the Thorsness Thing, and Snorri the Priest took 
up the case for Thorbiorn his brother-in-law ; but 
Arnkel the Priest defended the case for Geirrid his 
sister : a jury of twelve should give a verdict 
thereon. But neither of the two, Snorri or Arnkel, 
were deemed fit to bear witness, because of their 
kinship to the plaintiff and defendant. 

Then was Helgi, the Priest of Tempi egarth, the 
father of Biorn, the father of Gest, the father of 
Shald-Ref, called to give out the twelve men's 
finding. Arnkel the Priest went to the doom and 
made oath on the stall-ring that Geirrid had not 
wrought the hurt of Gunnlaug; Thorarin made 

30 The Saga Library, 

oath with him and ten other men, and then Helgi 
gave the verdict for Geirrid. And the case of 
Thorbiorn and Snorri came to nought, and thereof 
gat they shame. 


T this Thing Thorgrim Kiallakson and his 


sons strove with Illugi the Black about 
the jointure and dowry of Ingibiorg, 
Asbiorn's daughter, the wife of Illugi, which Tin- 
forni had had in wardship. 

At the Thing great storms befell, so that no man 
could come to the Thing from Midfell-strand, and 
a great drawback to Thorgrim's strength it was 
that his kin might not come. 

Illugi had a hundred men and those a chosen 
band, and he pushed the case forward ; but the Kial- 
lekings went to the court, and would fain break 
it up. 

Then there was a mighty throng, and men made 
it their business there to part them ; but so the 
matter went, that Tinforni had to give up the 
money according to Illugi's claim. So says Odd 
the Skald in Illugi's lay : 

It was west at the Thorsness Thing fray was there foughten, 
And there was the man by hap ever upholden ; 
The staff of the song from the helm that upriseth 
Was a-claiming the dowry amidst of the Mote. 
So the fair load of Fornir's scrip fell in the ending 
To the keen-witted wight one, the warrior that feedeth 
The swart swallow's brother that flits o'er the fight. 
But no easy matter was peace unto menfolk. 

The Ere- Dwellers. 31 

Thereafter the storm abated, and the Kiallekings 
came west from the Strand. Then would Thor- 
grim Kiallakson not hold to the peace, but fell 
on Illugi, and battle befell there. Then Snorri the 
Priest bade to him men to go between them, and 
thus brouofht them to a truce. There fell three men 
of the Kiallekings, and four of Illugi's folk. Stir 
Thorgrimson slew there two men ; so says Odd in 
Illugi's lay : 

Barefaced the folk brake it, the peace well awarded ; 
There were three fellows fallen amidst of the field 
Of those that be urging the opener of war-shield ; 
(Before the great fir of the ice-ridge they fell ;) 
Ere unto them Snorri, the Chief that upreareth 
The kin of the storm-queans, from out of the cumber, 
Could bring aback peace to the band of the menfolk. 
Far-famed was that mastership over the men. 

Illugi thanked Snorri the Priest for his help, and 
offered him pay for his aid, but he said he would 
have no reward for his first help. Then Illugi 
bade him to his house ; and that Snorri took, and 
had many good gifts, and then Snorri and Illugi 
were friends for a while. 


THAT summer died Thorgrim Kiallak- 
son, whereon Vermund the Slender, his 
son, took the homestead at Bearhaven ; 
he was a wise man, and marvellous wholesome of 
redes. .Stir also had by then dwelt for some 
time at Lava, up from Bearhaven ; he was a 

32 ' The Saga Library. 

wise man and a hardy. He had to wife Thorbiorg, 
daughter of Thorstein Windy- Nose. Thorstein 
and Hall were their sons ; Asdis was the name of 
their daughter, a manly-souled woman, and some- 
what hiofh-minded. Stir was a masterful man 
in the countryside, and had a many folk about 
him ; he was held, guilty at many men's hands, 
for that he wrought many slayings and booted 

That summer came out a ship to the Saltere- 
mouth : half of it was owned by Northmen, and 
their skipper was called Biorn ; he went to dwell 
at Ere with Steinthor. The other half was owned 
by South-islanders, and Alfgeir was their skipper ; 
he went to dwell at Mewlithe with Thorarin the 
Swart, and with him a fellow of his who was 
called Nail, a big man, and swift of foot ; he was 
Scotch of kin. 

Now Thorarin had a good fighting horse up in 
the fells ; and Thorbiorn the Thick withal had 
many stud horses together, which he kept on the 
fell-pastures, and he was wont to choose out of 
them in autumn horses for slaughter. But in the 
autumn it befell that Thorbiorn's horses were not 
to be found, though they were searched for far and 
wide : and that autumn the weather was somewhat 

In the beginning of winter Thorbiorn sent Odd 
Katlason south over the heath to a stead called 
Under-the-Lava, where there dwelt a man called 
Cunning-Gils, a foreseeing man, and a great man 
for spying after thefts and such like other matters 
as he was wistful to pry into. Odd asked whether 

The Ere-Dwellers. 33 

it was outland men or out-parish men or neigh- 
bours who had stolen Thorbiorn's horses. 

Cunning-Gils answered : " Say thou to Thor- 
biorn even as I say, that I deem that those horses 
will not have gone far away from their pastures ; 
but risky it is to tell of men's names, and it is better 
to lose one's own than that great troubles should 
arise therefrom." 

Now when Odd came to Frodis-water, Thorbiorn 
deemed that Cunning- Gils had made a thrust at 
the Mewlithers in that matter. Odd said too that 
he had said as much as that they were the likeliest 
for the horse-stealing who were themselves penni- 
less, and yet had lately got them increase of servants 
more than was their wont. I n these words Thorbiorn 
thought that the Mewlithers were clearly meant. 

After that rode Thorbiorn from home with 
eleven men. Hallstein, his son, was in that jour- 
ney, but Ketil the Champion, another son of his, 
was then abroad ; there was Thorir, the son of 
Ern of Ernknoll, a neighbour of Thorbiorn's and 
the briskest of men ; Odd Katlason, too, was in 
this journey ; but when they came to Holt to 
Katla, she did on Odd her son an earth-brown 
kirtle, which she had then newly made. 

Thereafter they fared to Mewlithe, and there 
stood Thorarin and the home men out in the door 
when they saw the men coming. 

Then they greeted Thorbiorn and asked for 
tidings. Thorbiorn said : " This is our errand here, 
Thorarin," says he, " that we are seeking after the 
horses which were stolen from me in the autumn ; 
therefore we claim to ransack thine house." 

II. D 

34 The Saga Library. 

Thorarin answered : " Is this ransacking taken 
up according to law ; or have ye called any lawful 
law-seers to search into this case ; or will ye 
handsel truce to us in this ransacking ; or have ye 
sought further otherwhere for the doing of this 
ransacking ? " 

Thorbiorn answered : " We deem not that any 
ransacking need be pushed further." 

Thorarin answered : " Then will we flatly refuse 
this ransacking, if ye begin and carry on the 
search lawlessly." 

Said Thorbiorn : " Then shall we take that for 
sooth, that thou wilt be found proven guilty, if 
thou wilt not have the matter thrust off thee by 
the ransacking." 

" Ye may do as ye please," said Thorarin. 

Thereafter Thorbiorn made a door-doom, and 
named six men for that doom ; and then Thorbiorn 
gave forth the case at Thorarin's hands for the 

Then came Geirrid out to the door, and saw 
what betid, and said : " Overtrue is that which 
men say, Thorarin, that thou hast more of the 
mind of a woman than a man, when thou bearest 
from Thorbiorn the Thick all shame soever ; nor 
wot I why I have such a son." 

Then said Alfgeir the Skipper, " We will give 
thee aid in whatsoever thou wilt bestir thyself." 

Thorarin answered : " No longer will I stand 
here ; " and therewith Thorarin and his folk ran 
out and would break up the court. They were seven 
in all, and therewithal both sides rushed into the 
fight. Thorarin slew a house-carle of Thorbiorn's, 

The Ere-Dwellers. 35 

and Alfgeir another, and there fell also a house- 
carle of Thorarin's ; but no weapons would bite on 
Odd Katlason. 

Now the goodwife Aud calls out on her women 
to part them, and they cast clothes over the 

Thereafter Thorarin and his men went in, but 
Thorbiorn rode off with his folk, and they put off 
the case to the Thorsness Thing. They rode up 
along the Creeks, and bound up their wounds 
under a stackyard that is called Combe-Garth. 

But in the home-field at Mewlithe men found a 
hand whereas they had fought, and it was shown 
to Thorarin ; he saw that it was a woman's hand, 
and asked where Aud was ; it was told him that 
she lay in bed. Then he went to her, and asked 
whether she were wounded ; she bade him pay no 
heed to that, but he was ware withal that her hand 
had been hewn off. Then he called to his mother, 
and bade her bind up the wound. 

Then Thorarin rushed out with his fellows and 
ran after those of Thorbiorn, and when they were 
but a little from the garth they heard the babble 
of Thorbiorn and his folk ; and Hallstein took up 
the word and said : 

" Thorarin has thrust off from him the reproach 
of cowardice to-day." 

" Boldly he fought," said Thorbiorn ; " yet many 
become brave when brought to bay, but natheless 
are not over-brave between whiles." 

Then said Odd : " Thorarin must needs be the 
bravest of men, but luckless will it be deemed that 
he so wrought as to cut off his wife's hand." 

36 The Saga Library. 

"Is that sure ? " said Thorbiorn. 

" Sure as day," says Odd. With that they 
jumped up, and made great shouting and laughter 

In that very nick of time came up Thorarin and 
his folk, and Nail was the foremost; but when he 
saw them threaten with their weapons, he blenched 
and ran forth and up into the fell, and there be- 
came one witless with fear. But Thorarin rushed 
at Thorbiorn and smote his sword into his head, 
and clave it down to the jaw-teeth. Then Thorir 
Ernson with two others set on Thorarin, and 
Hallstein and another on Alfgeir. Odd Katla- 
son with another man gat on to a fellow of Alf- 
geir's, and three of Thorbiorn's fellows on two of 
Thorarin's folk ; and the fight was joined both 
fierce and fell. But so their dealings ended, that 
Thorarin cut the leg from Thorir at the thickest 
of the calf, and slew both his fellows. Hallstein 
fell before Alfgeir wounded to death ; but when 
Thorarin was free, Odd Katlason fled with two 
men; he was not wounded, because no weapon 
might bite on his kirtle ; all their other fellows lay 
on the field ; and there too were slain two house- 
carles of Thorarin. 

Then Thorarin and his men took the horses of 
Thorbiorn and his folk and rode home ; and then 
they saw where Nail was running along the upper 
hill-side. And when they came to the home-field, 
they see that Nail had passed by the garth and made 
inward towards Buland's-head. There he found 
two thralls of Thorarin, who were driving their 
sheep from the Head ; he told them of the meeting, 

The Ere-Dwellers. 37 

and what odds in number of men there was ; he 
said he knew for sure that Thorarin and his men 
were slain ; and therewithal they see how men ride 
away from the homestead over the field. 

Then Thorarin and his folk took to galopping 
in order to help Nail, that he might not run into 
the sea or over the cliffs ; but he and those others, 
when they saw men riding eagerly, deemed that 
there must Thorbiorn be going. Then they all 
betook themselves to running afresh up on to the 
Head, till they came to that place which is now 
called Thrall-scree, and there Thorarin and his 
folk got Nail taken, because he had well-nigh 
broken his wind, but the thralls leapt over from 
the Head and were lost, as was like to be, because 
the Head is so high, that whatsoever leaps there- 
over must perish. 

Thereafter Thorarin and his men rode home, 
and there was Geirrid in the door, and she asked 
how they had fared ; but Thorarin sang this stave : 

The word of a woman wherewith I was wited 

Have I warded away now where war dared the warrior, 

He who slayeth the fire-flaught flaming in fight : 

(The share of the eagle was corpse-meat new slaughtered.) 

No yielding forsooth did I bear about yonder. 

Where, amidst of the corpse-worms I met him, 

The praiser manly the prayer of War-god beworshipped. 

Not often I boast me of deeds of my doing. 

Geirrid answered : " Do ye tell of the slaying 
of Thorbiorn ? " Thorarin sang : 

The sharp- shearing sword found a place for abiding 
Neath the hat of the God's son, the deft of the song. 
There was reeking the corpse-flood around, and arising 
About him, the seeker of onrush of anger. 

38 The Saga Library. 

Blood fell over the ears of the singer a-fighting, 
When the bane of the battle-tent drew near at hand, 
And the doom-hall of dooms whence the spoken word falleth 
With the red blood moreover was full in the fight. 

" So then the whetting of you has gone home," 
said Geirrid, " but now go ye within and bind up 
your wounds ; " and so they did. 

Now must it be said of Odd Katlason that he 
fared away till he came to Frodis-water, and told 
the tidings there. Thurid the goodwife let gather 
men to fetch the bodies and bring the wounded 
home. Thorbiorn was laid in cairn, but Hallstein 
his son was healed, and so was Thorir of Em- 
knoll, and he went thereafter on a wooden leg, 
therefore was he called Wooden-leg ever after. He 
had to wife Thorgrima the Witch-face ; their sons 
were Ern and Val, manly men. 


FOR one night was Thorarin at home at 
Mewlithe, but in the morning Aud asked 
him what shift he was minded to seek for 
himself. "No will have I to turn thee out of my 
house," said she ; " but I fear that there will be 
many a door-doom holden here this winter, for 
well I wot that Snorri the Priest must needs take 
up the case for Thorbiorn his brother-in-law." 
Then sang Thorarin : 

The wakener of law- wrong shall nowise meseemeth 
This winter that waneth lay blood-wite on me, 
For yonder is Arnkel, and there, as my hope is, 
My life- warden liveth all praise- worth to win. 

The Ere- Dwellers. 39 

Might I come but to Vermund and fare with the feeder 
Of the flame of the God of the field where the corpses 
Lie fallen in slaughter, then surely for me 
Might Hugin's son feed fat on field of the slain. 

Then said Geirrid, " That is now the best rede, 
to seek to such men allied as Vermund is, or 
Arnkel my brother." 

Thorarin answered : " Need enough there will 
be of the help of both before the end of the case ; 
but we must first lay our trust in Vermund." 

So that same day rode all those who had been 
at the slaying east along the firths, and came to 
Bearhaven in the evening, and went in just when 
men were gotten to their seats. Vermund greets 
them, and straightway gives up the high-seat to 
Thorarin, and when they had sat them down, then 
Vermund asked for tidings. Then Thorarin sang : 

To the stems of the sword-storm full clear shall my tale be : 

But let each hold his peace in meanwhile of the telling, 

For surely methinketh the Gods of the iron 

May look for the arrow-play soon to be seen. 

Ye shall wot of the war-stems the wielders of shield, 

In what wise of law they dealt with me duly ; 

How the arm of the Lady, the hand's reed down-hanging 

In that tide I beheld with the blood reddened over. 

"What is to be said, brother-in-law T' said Ver- 
mund. Thorarin sang : 

It was e'en at my house that they held me in battle, 

Those Gods of the glaive that my life were waylaying ; 

The light of the roar of the battle was biting 

The watcher that warded the way of the spear. 

So then to the dwarf-folk of Odin so did we 

That scant was the dealing of ruth that we dealt them : 

And little indeed then the lust lay upon me 

To let lull the sword-play wherein we were playing. 

40 The Saga Library. 

Gudny, his sister, took her stand on the floor and 

said : " Hast thou put from thee somewhat that 

coward's word of those folk from the west?" 

Thorarin sang : 

I had to ward off me the wite of the Goddess 

Who under the battle-cloud slaughtered men chooseth ; 

The blood drifted over the oar of the wounding, 

And great gain had the raven of corpses new-gotten, 

When the chisel of wounding white-shining, clean-whetted, 

Went whirring in war-play all over the helm 

That hangs on the head of the son of my father, 

And the brooks of the blood-wave ran over the holm. 

Then said Vermund : " Methinks thou hast had 
some hasty dealings with them." Sang Thorarin : 

Spaemaids of the man-mote where heavily roareth 

The thunder of war-choosers over the mead, 

The sharp-biting maidens, the peril of war-helms, 

That season were singing aloud round my shield. 

When the hollow-wrought sun-disc that Frodis' arm holdeth 

With blood was bedrifted before the ring's lord. 

When the river of Gioll all uprisen was waxing 

With the flood-tide of weapons wide over the fields. 

Vermund said : *' Did they know at last whether 
thou wert man or woman ? " Thorarin answered : 

Yea, methought at the last all that word of the witing 
I drave off indeed when I fell unto dealing 
With the son of the war-god that wieldeth in war 
The bitter-sharp scathe of the board of the battle, 
Since alow lies the deft one, well learned in the driving 
Of Rakni's dear horses ; and now whatsoever 
The lucky of life to his playmate may tell, 
The ravens are tearing their meat from sword-wielders. 

Thereafter Thorarin told the tidings. Then 
asked Vermund : " Why then didst thou go after 
them ? Didst thou not think enough had been 
done that first time ? " Thorarin sang : 

The Ere-Dwellers. 41 

O shearer of shards from the wildfire of Odin, 
Many hard words of hatred I look to be hearing, 
It was e'en in such wise that at Enni I showed them 
That I wotted full well how to make the wolf merry. 
But the stems of the blood that is blessed for the Gods, 
E'en they who entangle the thrums of the law-court. 
Gave out that my hand hewed the goddess of weaving ; 
Those confounders of justice to fighting they egged me. 

" Thou art excused though thou didst not abide 
that," said Vermund; "but whatwise did those out- 
landers turn out ? " Thorarin sang : 

Yea verily Nail got all corpse-goslings victual 

In a fashion most pitiful, passing belief; 

For the wont to the weight of the labour that weareth. 

The craven, betook him full fast to the fell. 

But Alfgeir becoifed with the war-helm was keener, 

And into the weapon-song brisker he wended. 

There flared out the flame of the fight for a season. 

As it rushed in its fury o'er battle-fain men. 

" What, did not Nail bear himself right well ?" 
said Vermund. Thorarin answered : 

He that heedeth the path of the spear in the battle 
Ran away from the fight, and he wept as he wended ; 
Unto him as he ran there, that warder of war-mask. 
Nowise good was the hope of his getting him peace. 
And so it betided that he, the grief-scenting, 
The mare-driver, e'en for a sea-leap was minded ; 
He that round about goeth the beer-stoups to offer. 
His heart held to nought but the blenching from battle. 

Now when Thorarin had been one night at 
Bearhaven, Vermund said to him : " Thou wilt 
not deem me very manly in my aid towards thee, 
brother-in-law ; but I mistrust me in taking you all 
into my house, unless more men should come into 
this trouble ; and now will we ride to-day to Lair- 

42 The Saga Library. 

stead, and see Arnkel thy kinsman, that we may 
know wherein he will aid us, for it is my deeming 
that Snorri the Priest will show a heavy hand in 
the blood-suit." 

" Thou shalt rule all," said Thorarin, and when 
they were off and on their way he sang : 

O Vermund, O wealth-tree, yet will we remember 

How oft and oft over erewhile we were merry, 

In the days ere my heart drave me on to encompass 

The death of the warrior that wafted the gold. 

O goddess of linen, to this am I looking 

In fear lest I be but a laughing-stock only \ 

To the thane, the keen-hearted ; loth am I to catch 

Fresh rain of the shields reddened over with battle. 

Herein he pointed at Snorri the Priest. 

Now these, Vermund and Thorarin, rode unto 
Lairstead, and Arnkel greeted them well, and asked 
for tidings. Quoth Thorarin : 

Ah, fearsome to think of the storm that fell on us, 

And the rain of the ravens' wine round my abode ; 

Flared the flame that provideth the mouthful of Munin 

As it rushed in its wrath o'er the men of the foe ; 

When the light-gleaming lime of the moon of the vikings, 

Whereas in the battle-mote men were a-meeting. 

Bit the limbs of the tribesmen that lift up the sword, 

And right through the peace-shrine of Hogni it pierced them. 

Arnkel asked after the haps of the tidings that 
Thorarin told of, and when he had set forth all as 
it was, Arnkel said : " Wroth hast thou been, 
kinsman, as meek as thou art wont to be." 

Said Thorarin : 

They that gather the gain of the snowdrift abiding 
Where high up on the ness the hawk sitteth eager, 

The Ere-Dwellers. 43 

Have called me peace-fain of the folk of aforetime ; 

The hinderer the hopler of hatred was I. 

But oft, as the saw saith, from out of calm weather 

The rain cometh rushing all over the earth. 

So let the fair land of the light that wrist beareth, 

Who longeth for long life this word of mine hearken. 

" That may well be," said Arnkel ; " but this I 
would say to thee, kinsman, that thou shalt abide 
with me till these matters are ended somehow; 
but though I take on myself the lead in this bid- 
ding, I say this to thee, Vermund, do not thou 
fall off from the matter, though I do take in 

" It is meet," said Vermund, '' that I should 
help Thorarin all I may, none the less though thou 
be the foremost to deal him aid." 

Then said Arnkel : " It is my rede that we sit 
all of us together hard by Snorri the Priest through 
the winter." 

So did they, and Arnkel had a throng of men 
about him that winter ; but Vermund was at Bear- 
haven or with Arnkel turn and turn about. 
Thorarin kept ever the same mood, and was 
mostly silent ; but Arnkel was a stately house- 
keeper and exceeding blithesome, and he deemed 
it ill if others were not ever joyous as was he, and 
often he spoke to Thorarin that he should be 
merry and fearless. " I have been told that the 
widow at Frodis-water staves off her sorrow well, 
and laughable will it seem to her if thou bearest 
thine ill." Thorarin sang : 

The fair-tripping widow shall nowise bewite me 
Of fear-fulfilled mood, as she sitteth ale-merry 

44 The Saga Library. 

Though soothly I wot that the raven was glutted, 
And his maw stuffed with meat of the corpses of men. 
And now is hard hatred midst manfolk befallen, 
And the hawk of the corpses in time that is coming 
Groweth glad of his gettings, and gladdened shall be 
By the hard play of sword-dew that hangeth about us. 

Then said a home-man of Arnkel's : " Thou 
knowest not before the Thorsness Thing is done in 
the spring whether thou may'st be enough for thy- 
self in these cases." Thorarin sang : 

The war-shields' upholders give out for the hearkening 

That for me shall be dealt out the lot from the dooming 

Of war-beset wandering wide over the land, 

(So now reach we for rede from the hands of the mighty,) 

Unless Arnkel, who winneth the praise of the people, 

For a man of all menfolk my blood-feud upholdeth ; 

And therefore it is that full truly I trust me 

In that warder of wizardry sung o'er the war-mask. 


NOW Geirrid, the goodwife at Mew- 
Hthe, sent word to Lairstead that she was 
ware of this, that Odd Katlason had 
stricken off the hand from Aud ; she said that she 
had Aud's own word therefor, and that Odd had 
made boast of it before his friends. 

But when Arnkel and Thorarin heard this, they 
rode from home out to Mewlithe, twelve men all 
told, and were there through the night ; but in the 
morning they rode out to Holt, from whence their 
going was seen. 

Now at Holt was no man at home but Odd. 
Katla sat on the dais, and span yarn. She bade 
Odd sit beside her ; " and be thou as near to me 

The Ere-Dwellers. 45 

as thou may' St." She bade her women sit in their 
seats, " and be ye silent," quoth she, " and I will 
have words with them." 

So when Arnkel and his folk came, they went in 
there, and when they came into the chamber, 
Katla greeted Arnkel and asked for tidings. 
Arnkel said he had nought to tell, and asked 
where was Odd. Katla said he had gone south to 
Broadwick. " Nor would he have foregone meet- 
ing thee if he had been at home, for that we trust 
thee well for thy manliness." 

" That may be," said Arnkel, " but we will have 
a ransacking here." 

" That shall be as ye will," said Katla, and bade 
her cookmaid bear light before them and unlock 
the meat-bower, " that is the only locked chamber 
in the stead." 

Now they saw, how Katla span yarn from her 
rock, and they searched through the house and 
found not Odd ; and thereafter they fared away. 

But when they were come a short space from the 
garth, Arnkel stood still and said : 

" Whether now has Katla cast a hood over our 
heads, and was Odd her son there whereas we saw 
but a rock ? " 

" She is not unlike to have so done," said 
Thorarin, "so let us fare back." And that they 

But when it was seen from Holt that they 
turned back, then said Katla to her women : 

"Ye shall still sit in your seats, but I will go 
with Odd out into the fore-chamber." So when 
they were come out through the chamber door, she 

46 The Saga Library. 

went into the porch over against the outer door, 
and combed Odd her son, and sheared his hair. 

Then Arnkel and his folk ran in at the door, and 
saw where Katla was, and played with a he-goat 
of hers, and stroked his head and beard, and 
combed out his fell. Arnkel and his men went 
into the stove and saw Odd nowhere, but there lay 
Katla's rock on the bench, and thereby they 
deemed that Odd could never have been there. 

Thereafter they went out and fared away. But 
when they came nigh to where they had turned 
before, Arnkel said : " Is it not in your mind that 
Odd was there in the likeness of that he-goat ? " 

** I wot not," said Thorarin, " but if we turn 
back now, then shall we lay hands on Katla." 

"We will try once more then," said Arnkel, 
"and see what will happen ; " and therewith they 
turned again. 

But when their faring was seen, Katla asked 
Odd to come with her ; and when they came out,, 
she went to the ash-heap, and bade Odd lie down 
thereunder, "and abide thou there, whatsoever 
may come to pass." 

Now when those of Arnkel came to the house, 
they ran in, and so into the chamber, and there sat 
Katla on the dais and span. She greeted them, 
and said that their visits came thick and fast. 
Arnkel said it was so ; and therewith his fellows 
took the rock and hewed it asunder. 

Then said Katla : " Ye will not have to say at 
home this eve that ye had no errand at Holt, 
since ye have slaughtered my rock." 

Then went Arnkel and his folk and sought for 

The Ere-Dwellers. 47 

Odd within and without, and saw nought quick 
save a house-boar that Katla owned, which lay- 
under the ash-heap ; and thereafter they fared away. 

But when they were come halfway to Mewlithe, 
came Geirrid to meet them, with a workman of 
hers, and asked, how they had fared. Thorarin 
told her all about it. She said they had ill sought 
for Odd : " But I will that ye turn back again once 
more, and I will fare with you ; nought will it 
avail to sail with leaf-sails whereas Katla is." 

With that they turned back. Geirrid had a blue 
mantle over her ; and when their coming was seen 
from Holt, Katla was told that now they were 
fourteen folk altogether, and one of them in 
coloured raiment. 

Then said Katla : " Must not Geirrid the troll 
be coming there ? Then may glamour only nowise 
be brought to bear." 

With that she got up from the dais, and took the 
seat from under her, and there was a lid under 
that, and the dais was hollow within ; therein she 
made Odd to go, and set everything right as it was 
before, and sat thereover ; but she said withal that 
she felt somewhat uncouth. 

But when those folk came into the chamber, it 
came to no greetings between them. Geirrid cast 
off her cloak and went up to Katla, and took 
a sealskin bag which she had had with her, and 
did it over Katla's head; and then her fellows 
bound it fast beneath. Then bade Geirrid break 
open the dais, and there was Odd found, and 
bound sithence ; and after that those twain were 
brought up to Buland's-head. 

48 The Saga Library. 

There was Odd hanged, and as he spurned the 
gallows Arnkel said : " 111 is thy lot from thy 
mother ; and so it is that thou hast verily had an 
ill mother." 

Katla said : '' True it may be that he has had no 
good mother, but the ill lot that he has had from 
me has not been by my will ; but it is my will that 
all ye may have ill hap from me, and I hope 
withal that that may come to pass ; nor shall it be 
hidden from you that I wrought that harm to Gunn- 
laug Thorbiornson wherefrom all these troubles 
have arisen. 

" But thou, Arnkel," said she, " may'st have no 
ill hap from thy mother, because thou hast none 
alive; but herein were I fain that my spell may 
stand fast, that from thy father thou mightest have 
a lot as much the worse than Odd has had from me, 
as thou hast the more to risk than he ; and I hope 
that this may be said before all is over, that thou 
hast an ill father." 

Thereafter they stoned her with stones that she 
died under the Head there ; and fared afterwards 
to Mewlithe, and were there through the night ; 
but the next day they rode home. 

Now were all these tidings known at one time, 
and of that tale no folk thought harm : and so the 
winter wore. 

The Ere-Dwellers, 49 


THE next spring on a day Arnkel called to 
him for a talk Thorarin his kinsman, Ver- 
mund, and Alfgeir, and asked them what 
kind of help they deemed the friendliest for them : 
whether they would ride to the Thing ; " and that 
we expend therein all our other friends," said he, 
" and then one of two things may hap : either 
that peace will be brought about, and then will 
your purses be shaken in atoning all who were slain 
there, or were hurt before you. That too may 
hap for one thing if the riding to the Thing is 
risked, that the troubles may wax, if so be the case 
is defended over-fiercely. But the other choice is 
to turn all our thoughts to this, that ye may fare 
abroad with all your loose goods, and let the lands 
be dealt with as fate may have it, such of them as 
may not be sold." 

Of this kind of help was Alfgeir most fain. 
Thorarin also said that he saw not how he might 
have means to atone with money all those guilts 
which had been wrought in these matters. Ver- 
mund said that he would not part from Thorarin 
whether he would that he should fare abroad with 
him, or give him fighting-help here in the land. 
But Thorarin chose that Arnkel should help them 
to going abroad ; so thereafter was a man sent out 
to Ere, to Biorn the Skipper, to turn all his mind to 
get the ship ready for them as soon as might be. 

u. s 

50 The Saga Library. 


NOW it must be told of Snorri the Priest 
that he took up the blood-feud for the 
slaying of Thorbiorn his brother-in-law ; 
he also made Thurid his sister fare home to Holy- 
fell, because the rumour ran that Biorn, the son of 
Asbrand from Combe, was wont to wend thither to 
meet her for her beguiling. 

Now Snorri deemed that he saw through all the 
counsel of Arnkel and his friends, as soon as he 
learned of that ship getting ready for sea, namely, 
that they had no mind to deliver money atone- 
ments for those slayings ; because that as yet no 
biddings of peace were coming forward from their 
hands ; yet was all quiet up to the summoning 
days. But when that time came round Snorri 
gathered men, and rode up into Swanfirth with 
eighty men, because it was then the law to give 
out the summons for blood-guilt in the hearing of 
the slayers, or at their home, and not to summon 
the neighbours till the Thing. 

But when Snorri's faring was seen from Lairstead, 
then men talked together whether they should set 
on him forthwith, because there were many men 
there together ; but Arnkel said that that should 
not be ; " Snorri's law shall we bear," said he, and he 
said that only that should be wrought as things 
stood which need drove them to. 

So when Snorri came to Lairstead, no greetings 
there were betwixt them, and then Snorri sum- 
moned Thorarin and all those who had been at the 
slayings, to the Thorsness Thing. 

The Ere-Dwellers. 


Arnkel hearkened duly to the summoning, and 
thereafter Snorri and his band rode away and up 
into Ulfar's-fell, and when they were gone away, 
then Thorarin sang : 

O ground whereon groweth the fair flame of hands, 
Nought is it as if men were even now robbing 
The flinger abroad of the flame of the sword-storm, 
Of the law of the lands-folk, for me made all guilty. 
Though they, deft in dealing with roof-sun of Odin, 
Should lay me down guilty, and out of the law. 
Forsooth I can see it that more is their manflock ; 
But yet may God give us the gain o'er the foemen. 

Snorri the Priest rode up over the neck to the 
Copses, and so on to DrapaHth, and in the morn- 
ing out to Swinewater, and thence to Lavafirth, 
and further as the road lay to Trollsneck, nor 
stayed his journey till he came to Saltere-mouth. 
But when they came there, some kept guard over 
the Eastmen, and some burnt the ship, and then 
when all was done, Snorri and his folk rode home. 

Now Arnkel heard that Snorri had burned the 
ship, and then those twain, Vermund and Thorarin, 
took boat with certain men, and rowed west across 
the firth to Daymeal-ness, where lay a ship that 
was owned by Eastmen. Arnkel and Vermund 
bought that ship ; and half thereof Arnkel gave to 
Thorarin, but Vermund got ready his share. They 
brought the ship out into Dimon, and there made 
ready. Arnkel abode there with them till they 
were ready for sea, and then went out with them 
past Ellidis-isle, and there parted in friendship. 

Then Thorarin and Vermund sailed over the 
main, but Arnkel went home to his house ; and 

52 The Saga Library, 

so spread the rumour that this help was deemed 
of the manhest. 

Snorri the Priest fared to the Thorsness Thing 
and pushed forward his suit, and Thorarin was 
made guilty, and all those men who had been at 
the slayings ; but after the Thing he took to him- 
self as much of the guilt-fines as he could. And 
thus those matters ended. 


V IGF US, the son of Biorn, the son of 
Ottar, dwelt at Drapalith, as is afore- 
said ; he had to wife Thorgerd, Thor- 
bein's daughter ; he was a mighty bonder, but 
exceeding violent. A sister's son of his dwelt 
with him who was called Biorn ; he was a rash- 
spoken man and unyielding. 

Now in the autumn, after the closing of the 
Mewlithe suits, were found the horses of Thor- 
biorn the Thick in the mountain, and the stallion 
had not been able to hold his pasture-ground 
before a stallion of Thorarin's, who had driven 
the other horses, which were all found dead. 

That same autumn folk held a thronged sheep- 
folding at Tongue up from Holyfell, betwixt it 
and Lax-river ; thither went to the folding the 
home-men of Snorri the Priest, and Mar Hallward- 
son, the father's brother of Snorri, was at the 
head of them. Helgi was the name of Snorri's 
shepherd. Biorn, the kinsman of Vigfus, lay on the 
fold-garth ; he had a pike-staff in his hand. Now 
Helgi drew out sheep, Biorn on a time asked 

The Ere-Dwellers. 53 

what sheep was that which he drew ; and when 
that was looked to, there was the mark of Vigfus 
on the sheep. 

Then said Biorn : " Thou art in a hurry to slip 
out the sheep to-day, Helgi." 

" That is more like to befall thee," said Helgi, 
"who abide in the sheep-walks of men." 

" Well, thief, what knowest thou of that ?" said 
Biorn, and sprang up and drove at him with the 
staff so that he fell stunned. But when Mar saw 
that, he drew his sword and cut at Biorn, and the 
stroke fell on the arm up by the shoulder, and a 
great wound that was. Thereat men ran into two 
bands, but some went betwixt them, and they were 
parted, so that nought else happed to tell of. But 
the next morning rode Vigfus down to Holyfell 
and claimed boot for this shaming, but Snorri 
spoke, saying that he saw no odds between those 
haps that had befallen. 

That Vigfus liked ill enough, and they parted 
with the greatest ill-will. 

In the spring Vigfus brought a suit for the 
wounding to the Thorsness Thing, but Snorri set 
forth, that Biorn should be made guilty for the 
blow with the staff ; and the end of the case was 
that Biorn was made guilty, because of the on- 
slaught on Helgi, and got no boot for his wound, 
and his arm he bare ever after in a sling. 

54 The Saga Library. 


AT this same Thing Thorgest the Old ana 
the sons of Thord the Yeller brought a case 
against Eric the Red for the slaughter of 
the sons of Thorgest, who had been slain in the 
autumn when Eric fetched the settles to Broad- 
lairstead ; and very thronged was that Thing ; but 
before it they had sat at home with crowded 
followings. While the Thing was toward, Eric 
fitted out a ship for the main in Eric's-creek in 
Oxisle, and in aid of Eric stood Thorbiorn Vifil's 
son, and Slaying-Stir, and the sons of Thorbrand 
of Swanfirth, and Eyolf, son of yEsa of Swine- 
isle. But out of those that furthered Eric, Stir 
alone was at the Thing, and drew away from 
Thorgest all the men he might. 

Stir prayed Snorri the Priest not to set on 
Eric after the Thing with those of Thorgest, 
and gave his word to Snorri in return, that he 
would help him another time, should he be holden 
by great troubles; and because of this promise 
Snorri let the case pass by. After the Thing 
those of Thorgest sailed with many ships into 
the islands ; but Eyolf, son of ^sa, hid Eric's 
ships in Dimon's bay, and thither came Stir and 
Thorbiorn to meet Eric ; and then did Eyolf and 
Stir after the fashion of Arnkel, for they went in 
company with Eric, each in his own skiff, as far 
as past Ellidis-isle. 

In the voyage Eric the Red found Greenland, 
and was there three winters, and then he went to 
Iceland, and abode there one winter before he 

The Ere-Dwellers. 55 

fared out to settle Greenland ; but this befell 
fourteen winters before Christ's faith was made 
law in Iceland. 


NOW is it to be said of Vermund and 
Thorarin the Swart that they came up 
from the main as far north as Thrond- 
heim-mouth, and stretched in for Throndheim. In 
those days Earl Hakon, son of Sigurd, ruled over 
Norway ; so Vermund went to the Earl, and be- 
came his man, but Thorarin went thence straightway 
that same autumn West-over-the-sea with Alfgeir, 
and Vermund gave them his share in the ship ; and 
henceforward Thorarin has nought to do with this 

Earl Hakon abode at Hladir that winter, and 
Vermund was with him holden in great friend- 
ship, and the Earl did well to him, because he 
wotted that Vermund was of great kin out in Ice- 

With the Earl were two brothers, Swedes of kin, 
one called Halli, the other Leikner ; they were big 
men of stature and strength, nor at that time were 
their peers herein to be found in Norway, nor far 
and wide otherwhere. They wrought Bareserkgang, 
and were not of the fashion of men when they 
were wroth, but went mad like dogs, and feared 
neither fire nor steel ; but their daily wont was to 
be not ill to deal with, if nought was done to cross 
them ; but they were straightway the most over- 

56 The Saga Library. 

reckless of men if anyone should beard them. 
Eric the Victorious, King of Sweden, had sent these 
Bareserks to the Earl, and gave him this warning 
therewith, that he should treat them well, and said, 
as was true, that of them might be the greatest 
avail if folk gave heed to their moods. 

Now in the spring, when Vermund had been 
one winter with the Earl, he yearned for Iceland, 
and prayed the Earl for leave to fare thither. The 
Earl bade him go since he would, and bade him thus : 
" Think if there be anything in my power more 
than another which thou wilt take for thy further- 
ance, such as may be worthy and honourable for 
both of us." 

But when Vermund had thought thereover, what 
thing he should ask of the Earl, it came into his 
mind that his ways would be greatly furthered 
in Iceland if he had such followers as those Bare- 
serks were ; and settled in his mind that he 
would pray the Earl to give him the Bareserks 
for his following ; and this urged him to ask for 
them, that he deemed that his brother Stir lay 
heavy on his fortune, and dealt unjustly with him 
as with most others when he could bring his 
strength to bear on him. So he thought that Stir 
would deem it less easy to deal with him if he had 
such fellows as those two brothers were. 

Now says Vermund to the Earl that he will take 
that honour from his hands, if he will give him 
for his safeguard and fellowship those Bareserks. 

The Earl answered : " Now hast thou asked me 
for that which seems to me will in nowise be to thy 
gain, though I grant it thee. I deem that they will 

The Ere-Dwellers. 57 

be to thee hard and high-minded as soon as thou 
hast aught to deal with them. I deem it beyond 
the power of most bonders' sons to curb them or 
hold them in fear, though they have been yielding 
enough in their service to me." 

Vermund said that he would take them with that 
risk if the Earl would give him them into his power. 
The Earl bade him first ask the Bareserks if they 
would follow him. He did so, and asked if they 
would fare with him to Iceland, and give him 
fellowship and service ; but he promised in return 
that he would do well to them in such matters 
as they deemed of need to them, and of which 
they knew how to tell him. 

The Bareserks said that they had not set 
their minds on going to Iceland, and they wotted 
not if there were such chiefs there as would be 
meet for them to serve ; " but if thou art so eager, 
Vermund, that we should fare to Iceland with 
thee, thou must look for it that we shall take it 
ill if thou givest not that which we ask for, if thou 
hast wherewithal." Vermund said that should 
never be, and thereafter he gat their yea to go to 
Iceland with him, if that were with the Earl's will 
and consent. 

Now Vermund tells the Earl how things had 
gone, and the Earl settled that the Bareserks 
should fare with him to Iceland, " if thou deemest 
that most to thine honour ; " but he bade him be- 
think him that he should deem that a cause for 
enmity if he ended ill with them, so utterly as they 
were now in his power ; but Vermund said there 
was no need that things should come thereto. 

58 The Saga Library. 

Thereafter Vermund fared to Iceland with the 
Bareserks, and had a good voyage, and came 
home to his house in Bearhaven the same summer 
that Eric the Red went to Greenland, as is written 

Soon after Vermund came home, Halli the Bare- 
serk fell to talk with Vermund about getting him 
a seemly match, but Vermund said he saw no hope 
that any woman of good kin would bind herself or 
her fortune to a Bareserk ; so he hung back in 
that matter. But when Halli knew that, he burst 
out into wolfish mood and ill-will, and all went 
athwart betwixt them, and the Bareserks made 
themselves right big and rough with Vermund, so 
that he began to rue it that he had gotten him 
those Bareserks on hand. 

Now in the autumn had Vermund a great feast, 
and bade Arnkel the Priest to him, and the men 
of Ere, and Stir his brother ; and when the feast 
was over he offered to give the Bareserks to 
Arnkel, and calls that a thing of the fittest ; but he 
will not take them. 

Then Vermund asked Arnkel for counsel as to 
how he should rid himself of this trouble ; but he 
put in a word that he had better give them to 
Stir, and said it rather befitted him to have such 
men because of his overweening and iniquitous 

So when Stir was ready to go away, Vermund 
went to him and said : " Now will I, brother, that 
we lay aside the coldness which was between us 
before I fared abroad, and take to faithful kinship 
and loving-kindness ; and therewith will I give 

The Ere-Dwellers. 59 

thee those men that I have brought out, for thy 
strength and fellowship, nor do I know any men 
will dare to trust themselves to strife with thee if 
thou hast such followers as they are." 

Stir answered : " I have good will, brother, to 
better our kinship ; but that only have I heard about 
those men whom thou hast brought out hither, 
that by taking them, one shall rather get trouble 
than furtherance or good luck from them ; nor will 
I that they ever come into my house, for full 
enough are my enmities though I get me no 
trouble from these." 

" What counsel givest thou then, kinsman," said 
Vermund, " that I may put off this trouble from 


" That is another case," said Stir, " to loose 
thee from thy troubles, than taking these men of 
thine hand as a friendly gift, and thus I will not 
take them ; but it is the due of no man more than 
me to put off this thy trouble from thee, if we both 
have one way of thinking about it." 

But though Stir spake so, Vermund chose that 
he should take to him the Bareserks, and the 
brothers parted in good love. Stir went home and 
the Bareserks with him, though they were not 
willing to this at first, and bade Vermund know 
that he had no right to sell or give them like 
unfree men ; yet they said withal that it was 
more to their mood to follow Stir rather than 
Vermund ; and things went very hopefully be- 
tween them and Stir at first. The Bareserks were 
with Stir when he went west over Broadfirth to slay 
Thorbiorn Jaw who dwelt at Jawfirth. A lock- 

6o The Saga Library. 

bed he had made exceeding strong with beams of 
timber, but the Bareserks brake that up, so that the 
naves outside sprang asunder ; yet was Stir him- 
self the bane of Thorbiorn Jaw. 


THE autumn when the Bareserks came to 
Stir, this happed withal, that Vigfus of 
Drapalith went to burn charcoal to the 
place called Selbrents, and three thralls with him, 
one of whom was Swart the Strong ; but when 
they came into the wood Vigfus said : " Great pity 
it is, and so thou wilt deem it thyself. Swart, that 
thou shouldst be an unfree man, strong as thou art, 
and manly to look upon." 

" Truly I deem it a great trouble," said Swart ; 
" but it is not so with my will." 

Vigfus said : " What wilt thou do that I give 
thee thy freedom ? " 

" I may not buy it with money, for I have it 
not," said he ; " but such things as I may do I will 
not spare." 

Said Vigfus : " Thou shalt go to Holy fell and 
kill Snorri the Priest, and thereafter shalt thou 
verily have thy freedom, and therewith will I give 
thee good fortune." 

" Nay, I may not bring that about," said Swart. 

" I shall give thee counsel," said Vigfus, "so 
that this may be brought about without any risk 
of thy life." 

" Well, I will listen to it," said Swart. 

The Ere-Dwellers. 6i 

" Thou shalt go to Holyfell and get into the 
loft that is over the outer door, and pull up the 
boards of the floor, so that thou may'st thrust a bill 
therethrough ; then when Snorri goes out to his 
privy, thou shalt thrust the bill through the floor of 
the loft into his back so hard that it may come out 
at his belly ; and then leap ofl" out on to the roof and 
so over the wall, and let the mirk night cover thee." 

So with this counsel went Swart to Holyfell, and 
broke open the* roof over the outer door, and went 
into the loft thereby ; and that was at such time as 
Snorri and his folk sat by the meal-fires. But in 
those days were the places of easement outside the 
houses. But when Snorri and his folk went from 
the fires they were minded for the place of ease- 
ment, and Snorri went first, and got off out into 
the outer door before Swart could bring his onset 
about; but Mar Hallwardson came next, and 
Swart thrust the bill at him, and it smote the 
shoulder-blade, and glanced off out towards the 
armpit, and there cut itself through, and no great 
wound it was. Then Swart sprang out and over 
the wall, but the causeway stones were slippery 
under him, and he fell a great fall when he came 
down, and Snorri got hold of him before he got up. 

Then they had a true tale of him, and he told 
them all that had been twixt him and Vigfus, 
and withal that he was burning charcoal under 

Then was Mar's wound bound up, and there- 
after Snorri set out with six men to Drapalith, 
And when they came up the hill-side they saw the 
fire whereat Vigfus and his folk burned charcoal. 

62 The Saga Library. 

Withal they came unawares upon Vigfus and his 
men, and slew him, but gave life to the house- 
carles, and thereafter Snorri went back home ; but 
the house-carles of Vigfus told these tidings at 

Vigfus was laid in cairn the next day, and that 
same day went Thorgerd his wife into Lairstead 
to tell the tidings to Arnkel her kinsman, and 
bade him take up the blood-suit for the slaying of 
Vigfus. But he put that off from him, and said 
that that belonged to the Kiallekings, the kin of 
Vigfus ; and above all would he have the case go to 
Stir, and said that it was fittest to him to take up 
the cause for Vigfus his kinsman ; "for," said he, "he 
is a man who is fain to meddle in many things." 

Now Thormod Trefilson sang this song about 
the slaying of Vigfus : 

First the Folk-wielder 
Felled there the feller 
Of fight-boar gold-bristled, 
Vigfus men hight him. 
The wound-mews thereafter 
There were they tearing 
Full meat of fight-god, 
Biorn's heirship wearer. 


THEREAFTER went Thorgerd out under 
Lava, and bade Stir take up the suit for 
Vigfus his kinsman. He answered : " But 
I promised Snorri the Priest last spring, when he 
sat those suits of ours with the Thorgestlings, that 

The Ere-Dwellers. 63 

I would not go against him with enmity in cases 
for the taking up of which there were many as nigh 
of kin as I. Now wert thou best to seek to 
Vermund my brother for this matter, or other kins- 
men of ours." 

So then Thorgerd fared out to Bearhaven, and 
prayed Vermund for aid, and said that the case 
came most home to him, "because Vigfus was 
wont to trust in thee the best of all his kin." 

Vermund answered : "Now am I bound to lay 
down some good counsel for thee ; yet am I loth 
to oro into these matters instead of other kinsmen 
of ours, but I shall give thee help both with fur- 
therance and counsel such as I may get done ; but 
first I will that thou fare west to Ere and find 
Steinthor, Vigfus's kinsman ; he is now at ease to 
fight, and it is now high time for him to try himself 
in some kind of case." 

Thorgerd answered : " Much ye make me do 
for this suit, but I will not spare my labour if it 
be to its furtherance." 

Thereafter she went west to Ere and found 
Steinthor, and bade him be leader of the case. 

Steinthor answered : " Why dost thou bid me 
this ? I am but a young man, and have had 
nouoht to do with the cases of men. But there are 
kinsmen of Vigfus nearer to him than I am, who 
are more forward than I withal ; neither is it to be 
anywise hoped that I should take this case from 
their hands ; but I shall not part myself from those 
of my kin who may have this blood-suit to look to." 

No other answer got Thorgerd than this. So 
she made for home thereafter and then east again 

64 The Saga Library. 

along the firths to find Vermund, and told him 
what things had come to, and said that the whole 
matter would be thrown over unless he became 
leader thereof. 

Vermund answered : " It is not unlikely that 
some stir will be made concerning these matters for 
thy comforting. However, I shall now once more 
lay down a rede for thee if thou wilt but do thine 

She answered : " Most things would I undergo 

" Now shalt thou go home, and let dig up Vigfus 
thy husband, and take his head and bring it to 
Arnkel, and say to him thus, that that head would 
not have weighed with others the taking up of the 
blood-suit after him, if need there had been 

Thorgerd said she wotted not where these things 
were coming to in the end, but she saw well 
enough that they spared her neither labour nor 
heartburn. " Yet even this will I undergo," said 
she, " if thereby the lot of my foes be made heavier 
than before." 

Thereafter she fared home, and went in about 
this business as she was taught in all wise ; and 
when she came to Lairstead she told Arnkel that 
the kin of Vigfus would that he should be the 
leader in taking up the blood-suit for the slaying 
of Vigfus, and that they all promised their help. 

Arnkel said that he had said before whereto his 
mind was given about the suit. 

Therewithal Thorgerd drew from under her cloak 
the head of Vigfus, and spake : " Here is now a 

The Ere-Dwellers. 65 

head," said she, " that would not have begged off 
from taking up the suit for thee, if there had been 
need thereof." 

Arnkel started back thereat, and thrust her from 
him, and said : " Go," says he, " and say so much 
to the kin of Vigfus, that henceforward they waver 
not more in their help against Snorri the Priest, 
than I shall in the leading of the suit; but so my 
mind tells me that, however the case goes, they 
shall lay land under foot or ever I do. But I see 
that these thy doings are by Vermund's counsel ; 
but no need will he have to ^'g'g me on whereso- 
ever we brothers-in-law are in one place." 

Then went Thorgerd home. The winter wore, 
and in the spring Arnkel set afoot the case for the 
slaying of Vigfus against all those who had been 
at the slaying, except Snorri the Priest ; but Snorri 
set forth a cross-suit for the unhallowing of Vigfus 
for plotting against his life and for the wounding 
of Mar ; and men came thronging on both sides to 
the Thorsness Thing. 

All the Kiallekings gave help to Arnkel, and 
theirs was the biggest company ; and Arnkel pushed 
on the case with great eagerness. 

But when the cases came into court, men went 
thereto, and the cases were laid to award by the 
urging and peace-making of men of good will ; and 
so it befell that Snorri the Priest made a handsel 
as to the slaughter of Vigfus, and great fines were 
awarded ; but Mar should be abroad for three 
winters. So Snorri paid up the money, and the 
Thing came to an end in such wise, that peace was 
made in all the suits. 

II. F 

66 The Saga Library. 


NOW that happed to tell of next which is 
aforewritten, that the Bareserks were 
with Stir, and when they had been there 
awhile, Halli fell to talking with Asdis, Stirs 
daughter. She was a young woman and a stately, 
proud of attire, and somewhat high-minded ; but 
when Stir knew of their talk together, he bade 
Halli not to do him that shame and heartburn in 
beguiling his daughter. 

Halli answered : " No shame it is to thee though 
I talk with thy daughter, nor will I do that to thy 
dishonour ; but I will tell thee straightly that I 
have so much love in my heart for her, that I 
know not how to put it out of my mind. And 
now," said Halli, " will I seek for fast friendship 
with thee, and pray thee to give me thy daughter 
Asdis, and thereto in return will I put my friend- 
ship and true service, and so much strength through 
the power of my brother Leikner, that there shall 
not be in Iceland so much glory from two men's 
services as we two shall give thee ; and our 
furtherance shall strengthen thy chieftainship more 
than if thou gavest thy daughter to the mightiest 
bonder of Broadfirth, and that shall be in return 
for our not being strong of purse. But if thou wilt 
not do for me my desire, that shall cut our friend- 
ship atwain ; and then each must do as he will in 
his own matter ; and little avail will it be to thee 
then to grumble about my talk with Asdis." 

When he had thus spoken, Stir was silent, and 

The Ere-Dwellers. 67 

thought it somewhat hard to answer, but he said 
in a while : 

" Whether is this spoken with all thine heart, or 
is it a vain word, and seekest thou a quarrel ? " 

" So shalt thou answer," said Halli, "as if mine 
were no foolish word ; and all our friendship lies 
on what thine answer will be in this matter." 

Stir answered : " Then will I talk the thing 
over with my friends, and take counsel with them 
how I shall answer this." 

Said Halli : " The matter shalt thou talk over 
with whomsoever pleases thee within three nights, 
but I will not that this answer to me drag on 
longer than that, because I will not be a dangler 
over this betrothal." 

And therewithal they parted. 

The next morning Stir rode east to Holyfell, 
and when he came there, Snorri bade him abide ; 
but Stir said that he would talk with him, and then 
ride away. 

Snorri asked if he had some troublous matter on 
hand to talk of. 

" So it seems to me," said Stir. 

Snorri said : " Then we will go up on to the 
Holy Fell, for those redes have been the last to 
come to nought that have been taken there." 

" Therein thou shalt have thy will," said Stir. 

So they went up on to the mount, and there sat 
talking all day till evening, nor did any man know 
what they said together ; and then Stir rode home. 

But the next morning Stir and Halli went to 
talk together, and Halli asked Stir how his case 

68 The Saga Library. 

Stir answered : " It is the talk of men that thou 
seemest somewhat bare of money, so what wilt 
thou do for this, since thou hast no fee to lay down 
therefor ? " 

Halli answered : " I will do what I may, since 
money fails me." 

Says Stir : " I see that it will mislike thee if I 
give thee not my daughter ; so now will I do as 
men of old, and will let thee do some great deed 
for this bridal." 

" What is it, then ? " said Halli. 

" Thou shalt break up," says Stir, " a road 
through the lava out to Bearhaven, and raise a 
boundary-wall over the lava betwixt our lands, and 
make a burg here at the head of the lava; and 
when this work is done, I will give thee Asdis my 

Halli answered : " I am not wont to work, yet 
will I say yea to this, if thereby I may the easier 
have the maiden for wife." 

Stir said that this then should be their bargain. 

Thereafter they began to make the road, and the 
greatest of man's-work it is ; and they raised the 
wall whereof there are still tokens, and thereafter 
wrought the burg. But while they were at the 
work. Stir let build a hot bath at his house at 
Lava, and it was dug down in the ground, and 
there was a window over the furnace, so that it 
might be fed from without, and wondrous hot was 
that place. 

Now when either work was nigh finished, on the 
last day whereon Halli and his brother were at 
work on the burg, it befell that thereby passed Asdis, 

The Ere-Dwellers. 69 

Stir's daughter, and close to the homestead it was. 
Now she had done on her best attire, and when Halli 
and his brother spake to her, she answered nought. 
Then sang HalH this stave : 

O fair-foot, O linen-girt goddess that beareth 
The flame that is hanging from fair limbs adown ! 
Whither now hast thou dight thee thy ways to be wending, 
O fair wight, O tell me, and lie not in telling ? 
For all through the winter, O wise-hearted warden 
Of the board of the chess-play, not once I beheld thee 
From out of the houses fare this-wise afoot, 
So goodly of garments, so grand of array. 

Then Leikner sang : 

The ground of the gold-sun that gleams in the isle-belt 
But seldom hath dight her the headgear so stately. 
The fir of the fire of the perch of the falcon 
Is laden with load of fine work of the loom. 
O ground strewn with jewels, O fair-spoken goddess 
Of beakers the bright, now I bid thee be telling 
What is it that under thy pride Heth lurking ? 
What hast thou thereunder of more than we wot ? 

Therewith they parted. The Bareserks went 
home in the evening and were much foredone, as 
is wont to be the way of those men who are skin- 
changers, that they become void of might when 
the Bareserk fury falls from them. Stir went to 
meet them, and thanked them for their work, and 
bade them come to the bath and rest thereafter, 
and so they did. 

But when they were come into the bath. Stir 
let the bath-chamber be closed, and had stones laid 
on the trap-door which was over the fore-chamber, 
and spread a raw and slimy neat's-hide down by 
the top entrance thereof ; and then he let feed the 

yo The Saga Library. 

furnace from without through that window which 
was thereover. 

Then waxed the bath so hot that the Bareserks 
might not abide it, and leaped up at the door, and 
Halli brake open the trap-door and got out, but 
fell on the hide, and Stir gave him his death-blow ; 
but when Leikner would have sprung out by the 
opening, Stir thrust him through and he fell back 
into the bath, and died there. Then Stir let lay 
out the corpses, and they were carried out into 
the lava, and were cast into that dale which is in 
the lava, and is so deep that one can see nought 
therefrom but the heavens above it, and that is be- 
side that self-same road. 

Now over the burial of the Bareserks Stir sang 
this stave : 

Methought that the raisers of riot of spear-mote 

Would nowise and never be meek and mild-hearted. 

Or hearken the bidding of them that are hardening 

The onrush of Ali's high wind and hard weather. 

No dread have I now of their dealings against me, 

Of the masterful bearing of the lads of the battle ; 

For now I, the slayer of tarrying, truly, 

With my brand have marked out a meet place for the Bareserks. 

But when Snorri the Priest knew these things he 
rode out to under Lava, and the twain Snorri and 
Stir sat again together all day, and this got abroad 
of their talk, that Stir had betrothed Asdis his 
daughter to Snorri the Priest, and the wedding was 
to be held the next autumn ; and it was the talk of 
men that both of these two might be deemed to 
have waxed from these haps, and this alliance. 
For Snorri was the better counselled and the wiser 

The Ere-Dwellers. 71 

man, but Stir the more adventurous and pushing ; 
but either had strong kinship and great following 
about the countryside. 


THERE was a man called Thorod, who 
was of the Midfell-strand kindred. He 
was a trustworthy man and a great sea- 
farer, and had a ship afloat. Thorod had sailed 
on a trading voyage west to Ireland and Dublin. 

At that time Sigurd Lodverson, Earl of the 
Orkneys, had harried in the South-isles, and all 
the way west to Man. He had laid a tribute on the 
dwellers in Man ; and when peace was made, the 
Earl left men to wait for the scat (and the more 
part thereof was paid up in burned silver), but he 
himself sailed away north to the Orkneys. 

Now when they who had awaited the scat were 
ready to sail, the wind blew from the south-west, 
but when they had been at sea a while, it shifted 
to the south-east and east, and blew a great gale, 
and drove them north of Ireland. Their ship was 
broken to pieces on an unpeopled island there ; 
and when they were in this plight there bore down 
on them Thorod the Icelander, late come from 
Dublin. The Earl's men hailed the chapmen for 
help, and Thorod put out a boat and went therein 
himself; and when they met, the Earl's men prayed 
him for aid, and promised him money to bring 
them home to the Orkneys to Earl Sigurd. But 

72 The Saga Library, 

Thorod deemed he might not do that, since he 
was already bound for Iceland. But they prayed 
him hard, because they deemed that their wealth and 
their lives lay on their not being taken prisoners in 
Ireland or the South-isles, where they had harried 
erst. So the end of it was that he sold them his 
boat from his big ship, and took therefor a good 
share of the scat ; and thereon they laid their boat 
for the Orkneys, but Thorod sailed boatless for 

He came upon the south coast of the land, and 
stretched west along the shore, and sailed into 
Broadfirth, and came safe and sound to Day- 
meal-ness, and in the autumn went to dwell with 
Snorri the Priest at Holyfell, and ever after was 
he called Thorod Scat-catcher. 

Now this was a little after the slaying of Thor- 
biorn the Thick. And that winter was Thurid, 
the sister of Snorri the Priest, whom Thorbiorn 
the Thick had had to wife, abiding at Holyfell. 
A little while after his coming back to Iceland 
Thorod put forth the word and prayed Snorri to 
give him his sister Thurid ; and seeing that he 
was wealthy of money, and that Snorri knew his 
conditions well, and that he saw that she needed 
much some good care, with all this it seemed good 
to Snorri to give him the woman ; and he held 
their wedding in the winter there at Holyfell. 
But the spring after Thorod betook himself to 
keeping house at Frodis-water, and he became a 
good bonder and a trustworthy. 

But so soon as Thurid came to Frodis-water 
Biorn Asbrandson got coming thither, and it was 

The Ere-Dwellers. 73 

the talk of all men that there was fooling betwixt 
him and Thurid, and Thorod began to blame Biorn 
for his comings, yet that mended matters in no- 

At that time dwelt Thorir Wooden-leg at 
Ernknoll, and his sons Ern and Val were grown 
up by then, and were the hopefullest of men. 
Now they laid reproach on Thorod in that he bore 
with Biorn such shame as he dealt him, and they 
offered to follow Thorod if he would put an end to 
Biorn's comings and goings. 

On a time Biorn came to Frodis-water and sat 
talking with Thurid. And Thorod was ever wont 
to be within doors when Biorn was there ; but now 
they saw him nowhere. Then Thurid said : 
" Take thou heed to thy faring, Biorn ; whereas I 
deem that Thorod is minded to put an end to 
thy coming hither ; and I guess that they have 
gone to waylay thee ; and he will be minded that ye 
two shall not meet with an equal band." 

Then Biorn sang this song : 

O ground of the golden strings, might we but gain it 
To make this day's wearing of all days the longest 
That ever yet hung twixt earth's woodland and heaven — 
Yea, whiles yet I tarried the hours in their waning — 
For, O fir of the worm that about the arm windeth. 
This night amongst all nights, 'tis I and no other 
Must turn me to grief now, and drink out the grave-ales 
Of the joys of our life-days, full often a-dying. 

Thereafter Biorn took his weapons and went 
away, and was minded for home, but when he 
came up beyond Bigmull, five men sprang up 
before him, and there was Thorod and two of 

74 The Saga Library. 

his house-carles and the sons of Thorir Wooden- 
leg. They set on Biorn, but he defended himself 
well and manly. The sons of Thorir set on the 
hardest, and gat him wounded, but he was the 
bane of them both. Then Thorod with his house- 
carles fled away, and he was but little wounded, 
and they not at all. 

Biorn went his way till he came home, and went 
into the chamber ; and the goodwife called on a 
handmaid to serve him. And when she came into 
the chamber with a light, she saw that he was all 
covered with blood. Then she went forth and 
told Asbrand his father that Biorn had come home 
all bloody. 

Then Asbrand went into the chamber and 
asked Biorn why he was bloody. " Perchance ye 
have met, thou and Thorod ? " Biorn answered and 
said that so it was. Asbrand asked him in what 
wise their dealings had turned out. Biorn sang : 

I ween for the wight one, the waster of warflame, 
Nought skills it in one way to wage war upon me — 
Yea, we brought it about that we bore down in battle, 
And slaughtered the warriors the wight sons of Woodleg. 
Let him fight not, that stirrer of storm of the battle, 
As if stroking the goddess, the guard of the linen ; 
That soft one, the scat-catching bow-bender, never 
Shall drag out of battle the treasure of Draupnir, 

Then Asbrand bound his wounds and he grew 
whole again. 

But Thorod sought of Snorri the Priest that he 
would take up the blood-suit for the slaying of the 
sons of Thorir, and so he let Snorri set on foot the 
suit for the Thorsness Thing. But the sons of 

The Ere-Dwellers. 75 

Thorlak of Ere backed the Broadwickers in this 
suit. And the end of the matter was such that 
Asbrand gave handsel for Biorn his son, and paid 
up money-boot for the slayings ; but Biorn was 
outlawed and banished for three winters, and he 
went out that same summer. 

That same summer withal Thurid of Frodis- 
water gave birth to a man-child, who was called 
Kiartan ; he grew up at home at Frodis-water, and 
was early a big lad and a hopeful. 

But when Biorn came out over the sea, he went 
south to Denmark, and then south further to 
Jomsburg, and in those days was Palnatoki captain 
of the Jomsburg vikings. Biorn entered into 
covenant with them, and was called a champion 
there. He was in Jomsburg when Styrbiorn the 
Strong won it, and he went to Sweden when they 
of Jomsburg gave aid to Styrbiorn, and was withal 
at the battle at Fyrisfield where Styrbiorn fell, 
and fled thence to the woods with the other Joms- 
burg vikings. And while Palnatoki was alive 
was Biorn with him, and was deemed the best of 
men and the bravest in all deeds that try a man. 


NOW must it be told of Thorolf Halt-foot 
that he began to get exceeding old, and 
became very evil and hard to deal with 
by reason of his old age, and full of all injustice, 
and things went uneasily enough betwixt him and 
Arnkel his son. 

76 The Saga Library. 

Now on a day Thorolf rode in to Ulfar's-fell to 
find Ulfar the bonder. He was a great furtherer 
of field-work, and much spoken of for this, that he 
saved his hay quicker than other men, and was so 
lucky with sheep withal, that his sheep never died 
of clemming or from storms. 

So when Thorolf met him, he asked him what 
counsel he gave him as to how he should set 
about his husbandry, and what his mind told him 
about the s.ummer, if it would be dry or not. 

Ulfar answered : "No better rede can I give 
thee than what I follow myself. I shall let bear 
out the scythe to-day, and mow down all I may 
this week, because I deem it will be rainy ; but I 
guess that after that it will be very dry for the next 
half month." 

So things went as he had said, for it was often 
seen that he could foretell the weather better than 
other men. 

So Thorolf went home, and he had with him 
many workmen, and now he let straightway begin 
the out-meadow mowing; and the weather was 
even as Ulfar had said. 

Now Thorolf and Ulfar had a meadow in 
common upon the neck, and either of them at first 
mowed much hay, and then they spread it, and 
raked it up into big cocks. But one morning early 
when Thorolf arose, he looked out and saw that 
the weather was thick, and deemed that the dry 
tide was failing, and called to his thralls to rise 
and carry the hay together, and work daylong all 
they might, " for it seems to me," quoth he, " that 
the weather is not to be trusted." 

The Erc-Dwellers. 77 

The thralls did on their clothes and went to the 
hay-work. But Thorolf piled up the hay and 
egged them on to work at their most might that it 
might speed at its fastest. 

That same morning Ulfar looked out early, and 
when he came in, the workmen asked him of the 
weather, but he bade them sleep on in peace. 
" The weather is good," said he, "and it will clear 
off to-day. Therefore to-day shall ye mow in the 
home-field, but to-morrow will we save such hay 
as we have up on the neck." 

Now the weather went even as he said ; and 
when the evening was wearing on, Ulfar sent a 
man up to the neck, to look to the hay that stood 
there in cocks. But Thorolf Halt-foot carried 
hay with three draught-oxen the day through, and 
by the third hour after noontide they had saved 
all the hay that was his. Then he bade carry 
Ulfar's hay withal into his garth ; and they did as 
he bade them. 

But when Ulfar's messenger saw that, he ran 
and told his master. Then Ulfar went up on to 
the neck, and was exceeding wroth, and asked 
Thorolf why he robbed him. Thorolf said he 
heeded not what he said, and raved and was ugly to 
deal with, and they well-nigh came to blows. But 
Ulfar saw that he had no choice but to go away. 
So he went straightway to Arnkel, and told him 
of his scathe, and prayed for his warding, " else," 
he gave out, " all would be gone by the board." 

Arnkel said he would bid his father pay boot 
for the hay, but said that none the less it sorely 
misgave him that nought would come of it. 

78 The Saga Library 

So when father and son met, Arnkel bade his 
father pay Ulfar boot for the taking of the hay ; 
but Thorolf said the thrall was far too rich already. 
Arnkel prayed him to do so much for his word as 
to atone for that hay. Then said Thorolf that he 
would do nought therefor but worsen Ulfar's lot ; 
and therewith they parted. 

Now when Arnkel met Ulfar, he told him of 
Thorolf s answer ; but Ulfar deemed that Arnkel 
had followed up his case coldly, and said that he 
might have had his way with his father if he had 
chosen to do so. 

So Arnkel paid Ulfar what he would for the 
nay ; and when father and son next met, Arnkel 
claimed the price of the hay from his father, but 
Thorolf gave no better answers, and they parted 
in great wrath. But the next autumn Arnkel let 
drive from the fells seven oxen of his father's, and 
had them all slaughtered for his own household 
needs. That misliked Thorolf beyond measure, 
and he claimed their price of Arnkel ; but he said 
that they should be in return for Ulfar's hay. 
Then Thorolf liked matters a great deal worse 
than before, and laid the whole thing on Ulfar, 
and said he should feel him therefor. 

The Ere- Dwellers. 79 


THAT winter at Yule-tide had Thorolf a 
great drinking, and put the drink round 
briskly to his thralls, and when they were 
drunk, he egged them on to go up to Ulfar s-fell 
and burn Ulfar in his house, and promised to give 
them their freedom therefor. The thralls said 
they would do so much for their freedom if he 
would hold to his word. Then they went six of 
them together to Ulfar s-fell, and took a brush- 
wood stack, and dragged it to the homestead, and 
set fire therein. 

At that time Arnkel and his men sat drinking 
at Lairstead, and when they went to bed they 
saw fire at Ulfar's-fell. Then they went thereto 
forthwith, and took the thralls, and slaked the fire, 
and the houses were but little burned. 

The next morning Arnkel let bring the thralls 
to Vadils-head, and there were they all hanged. 

Thereafter Ulfar handselled all his goods to 
Arnkel, who became guardian over him. But this 
handselling misliked the sons of Thorbrand, be- 
cause they deemed that to them belonged all the 
goods after Ulfar their freedman, and much ill-will 
arose herefrom between Arnkel and Thorbrand's 
sons. Nor might they henceforth have games to- 
gether, which they had hitherto held, turn and turn 
about ; in which games was Arnkel the strongest, 
but that man was the best to set against him, and 
the next strongest, who was called Freystein 
Rascal, and was the foster-son of Thorbrand, and 

8o The Saga Library. 

his adopted son ; for it was the talk of most men 
that his own son he was, but that his mother was 
a bondmaid. He was a manly man, and mighty of 
his hands. 

Thorolf Halt-foot took it very ill of Arnkel that 
those thralls had been slain, and claimed atone- 
ment for them, but Arnkel flatly refused to pay a 
penny for them, and then was Thorolf worse 
pleased than afore. 

But on a day he rode out to Holyfell to find 
Snorri the Priest, and Snorri bade him abide. But 
Thorolf said he had no need to eat his meat. 
" Therefor am I come, because I am fain thou 
shouldst set my matters straight, for I call thee 
chief of this countryside, and it is thy part to set 
right the lot of such men as have been wronged 

" By whose means Is thy lot brought low, good- 
man ? " said Snorri. 

" Through Arnkel, my son," answers Thorolf. 

Said Snorri : " Thou shouldst not make plaint 
of that, because that thou shouldst be of one mind 
with him in all things : withal he is a better man 
than thou." 

" That is not the way of it," says he, " because 
now of all men he tramples most on me, and now 
will I be thy close friend, Snorri, if thou wilt but 
take up the blood-suit for my thralls whom Arnkel 
let slay, nor will I bespeak all the blood-fines for 

Snorri answered : " I will not enter into the 
strife betwixt thee and thy son." 

Says Thorolf: " Thou art no friend of Arnkel's ; 

The Ere- Dwellers. 8i 

but mayhap thou deemest me niggard of my 
money. But it shall not be so now," says he. 
" I know thou wouldstfain have Crowness, and the 
wood thereon, which is the best possession in the 
countryside. Lo, I will handsel thee all that, if 
thou wilt but take up the suit for my thralls, and 
follow it up so mightily that thou shalt grow greater 
thereby, but they shall deem themselves put in the 
wrong who have wrought me shame ; nor will I 
spare any man who has had part therein, be he 
more or less my kinsman." 

Now Snorri deemed that he needed the wood 
greatly ; and so it is said that he took handsel of 
the land, and took over the blood-suit for the thralls. 
But Thorolf rode home thereafter, and was well 
pleased therewith. But that was not talked of 
over-well by other folk. 

In the spring Snorri set forth a case for the 
Thorsness Thing, at the hand of Arnkel, for the 
slaying of the thralls. Both sides came thronging 
to the Thing, and Snorri pushed forward the case. 
But when the suit came into court, Arnkel claimed 
for himself a verdict of not guilty, and set that 
forth as a defence that the thralls were taken with 
quickfire for the burning of a homestead. 

Then Snorri set forth that the thralls were in- 
deed out of the law on the field of deed, "but 
whereas thou didst bring them in to Vadils-head 
and slay them there, I deem that there they were 
not out of the law." 

So Snorri pushed the case on, and set aside 
Arnkel's claim to a verdict of not guilty ; and there- 
after men busied themselves to make peace, and a 

II. G 

82 The Saga Library. 

bargain was come to, and those brethren, Stir and 
Vermund, should be umpires in the case ; and they 
put the thralls at twelve ounces each, and the 
money should be paid there and then at the Thing. 
And when it was paid, Snorri gave the purse to 
Thorolf, who took it and said : " I had no mind 
when I gave thee my land, that thou wouldst follow 
up my suit with so little manhood, and I wot that 
Arnkel would not have withheld from me such boot 
for my thralls if I had left the matter to him." 

"Now I say," said Snorri, "that thou hast no 
shame herein, but I will not stake my worth against 
thy evil lust and foul deeds." 

Thorolf answers : ** Most like it is that I shall 
not seek to thee in cases again ; nor yet shall the 
woes of you folk of this country lie utterly asleep." 

Thereafter men depart from the Thing, and 
Arnkel and Snorri misliked them of this end to 
the matter, but Thorolf thought worse yet of it, as 
was well meet. 

chapter xxxii. the slaying of ulfar : thor- 
brand's sons claim the heritage. 

SO it is said that this happened next to be 
told of, that Orlig of Orligstead fell sick, 
and when his sickness grew heavy on 
him, Ulfar his brother sat ever by him. Now of 
that sickness he died; but when he was dead, 
Ulfar sent forthwith for Arnkel, who went straight- 
way to Orligstead, and he and Ulfar took to them 
all the goods that lay together there. But when 
Thorbrand's sons knew of the death of Orlig, 

The Ere-Dwellers. 83 

they went to Orligstead, and laid claim to those 
same goods that there lay together, and claimed as 
their own what their freedman had had ; but Ulfar 
said that it was his due to take the heritage after 
his brother. They asked what part Arnkel would 
take in this matter. Arnkel said that Ulfar should 
not be robbed of any man while their fellowship 
lasted and he mis^ht have his will. 

Then Thorbrand's sons fare away, and first out 
to Holyfell, and told this to Snorri the Priest, and 
prayed him for his help in the case ; but he said 
that he would not thrust into strife with Arnkel for 
this case, whereas they had done their part so slip- 
pery, that Arnkel and Ulfar had first laid hands 
on the goods. Then Thorbrand's sons said that 
he would rule there no longer if he did not heed 
such things as this. 

The next autumn Arnkel had a great autumn 
feast in his house, and ever his wont was to ask 
Ulfar his friend to all biddings, and to see him 
off with gifts. 

Now the day that men should depart from the 
feast at Lairstead, Thorolf Halt- foot rode from 
home, and went to see his friend Cunning-Gils, who 
dwelt at Thorswater-dale at Cunning-Gils-stead, 
and bade him ride with him east to Ulfar's-fell-neck, 
and a thrall of Thorolfs went with him, and when 
they came on to the neck Thorolf said : 

*' There will be Ulfar going from the feast, and 
belike he will journey with seemly gifts about him. 
Now would I, Cunning-Gils," said he, "that thou go 
meet him and waylay him under the garth at Ulfar's- 
fell, and slay him, and therefor will I give thee three 

84 The Saga Library. 

marks of silver, and pay all weregild for the slaying ; 
and then, when thou hast slain Ulfar, thou wilt 
have of him those good things which he has had 
of Arnkel. Then shalt thou run along Ulfar's-fell 
out to Crowness, and if any pursue thee let the 
wood cover thee, and then come and see me, and 
I shall see to thee that thou shalt take no harm." 

Now whereas Cunning-Gils was a man of many 
children and very poor, he took the bait and went 
out under the towngarth at Ulfar's-fell, and there 
he saw how Ulfar came up from below with a 
good shield and a fair-dight sword that Arnkel 
had given him. So when they met, Cunning-Gils 
prayed to see the sword, and flattered Ulfar much, 
and said he was a great man, since he was deemed 
worthy to have such seemly gifts from chiefs. 
Ulfar wagged his beard, and handed to him the 
sword and shield. Cunning-Gils straightway drew 
the sword and thrust Ulfar through, and then took 
to his heels and ran out along Ulfar's-fell to Crow- 

Arnkel was out a-doors and saw how a man ran 
bearing a shield, and thought he should know the 
shield, and it came into his mind that Ulfar would 
not have given it up of his own good will. Then 
Arnkel called to his folk to run after the man ; 
" and therewith," says he, " if this has befallen by 
my father's redes, and this man is Ulfar's banes- 
man, then shall ye slay him, whoso he is, and not 
let him come before my eyes." 

Then went Arnkel up to Ulfar's-fell, and there 
they found Ulfar dead. Thorolf Halt-foot saw 
Cunning- Gils run out along Ulfar's-fell with the 

The Ere-Dwellers. 85 

shield, and thought he knew how it had fared be- 
tween him and Ulfar. Then said he to his thrall 
that followed him : " Now shalt thou go to Kar- 
stead, and tell Thorbrand's sons to fare in to Ulfar's- 
fell, and not let themselves be robbed this time of 
their freedman's heritage as before ; because Ulfar is 
now slain." So thereafter Thorolf rode home, and 
deemed he had done a good piece of business. 

But those who ran after Cunning-Gils took him 
beneath a cliff which leads up from the sea. There 
they had a true tale out of him, and when he had 
told them all as it was, they slew him, and thrust 
him into earth beneath the cliff, but took his spoil 
and brought it to Arnkel. 

Now the thrall of Thorolf came to Karstead, 
and told Thorbrand's sons the message of Thorolf, 
and so they went in to Ulfar's-fell ; but when they 
came there, lo, there was Arnkel before them and 
many men with him. Then Thorbrand's sons gave 
out their claim to the goods that Ulfar had owned ; 
but Arnkel brought forward against it the witness 
of those who were near at the handsel Ulfar had 
given him, and said that he would uphold it, be- 
cause he said it had never been lawfully called 
in question, and bade them make no claim to the 
money ; for he said he would hold to it, even as if 
it were his father's heritage. 

Then Thorbrand's sons saw no choice but to 
come away, and they went once more out to Holy- 
fell and found Snorri the Priest, and told him how 
things had befallen, and prayed for his help. 
Snorri said things had gone as before, that they 
had been one move too late in the game for Arnkel ; 

86 The Saga Library. 

" and ye shall not," said he, " grip out of Arnkel's 
hands aught of these goods, seeing that he has 
already got the chattels to him ; and as to the lands, 
they lie about as near to one as to the other, and he 
will have them who has the strongest hand. And 
this is to be looked for herein that Arnkelwill have 
the greater share of that, as in other dealings with 
you ; and to tell truth, ye may well bear what many 
endure, because Arnkel rules now over every man's 
fortune in this countryside, and will do while he 
lives, whether that be longer or shorter." 

Thorleif Kimbi answered : " True say'st thou, 
Snorri, and I deem it is to be excused in thee, 
though thou dost not set our matter with Arnkel 
right, since thou hast never held thine own against 
him in any due case that ye have had to do with 

Thereafter Thorbrand's sons fared home, and 
took these things right heavily. 


NOW Snorri the Priest let work Crowness 
wood, and let much wood cutting go on. 
Thorolf Halt-foot thought that the wood 
was spoilt thereby, and rode out to Holyfell, and 
bade Snorri give back the wood, and said that he 
had lent the wood and not given it. Snorri said that 
would be clearer when they bore witness who were 
by at the handselling, and said that he would not 
give up the wood unless they gave it against him. 
Then Thorolf took himself off, and was in the 

The Ere-Dwellers. 87 

worst of minds. He rode in to Lairstead to see his 
son Arnkel. 

Arnkel gave his father good welcome, and asked 
his errand there. Thorolf answered : " This is my 
errand, that I see it is amiss that there should be 
ill-liking betwixt us, and now I will that we lay 
that aside, and take to kindly ways. For un- 
seemly it is for us to be at enmity together ; and 
moreover it seems to me that we should be great 
men here in the district with thy hardihood and 
my good counsel." 

" The better it would like me," said Arnkel, 
"the closer we should draw together." 

" Now will I," says Thorolf, " that this shall be 
the beginning of our peace-making and friendship, 
that we two claim Crowness wood of Snorri the 
Priest. It seems to me very ill that he should 
rule our fortune, but now he will not give up to 
me my wood, and says I gave it him ; and therein 
he lies," says he. 

Arnkel answers : " Thou didst that for no 
friendship to me when thou gavest Snorri the 
wood, nor shall I do so much as for thy slandering 
to quarrel with Snorri about it ; and though I wot 
that he has no due title to the wood, yet will I 
not that thou have so much for thy lust for evil as 
to gladden thee by strife twixt me and Snorri." 

" Methinks," said Thorolf, " that this comes 
rather from thy poor heart than because thou be- 
grudgest me sport over your strife." 

" Think whatso true thou wilt," said Arnkel, 
" but as things stand, no strife will I have with 
Snorri for the wood." 

88 The Saga Library. 

Therewith father and son parted, and Thorolf 
fared home and liked his lot exceeding ill, and 
thought that now he might scarce get his oar in. 

Thorolf Halt-foot came home in the evening and 
spake to no man, but sat down in his high-seat 
and would eat no meat that night, and he sat there 
after men went to bed, and in the morning, when 
men arose, there he sat on still, and was dead. 

Then the housewife sent a man to Arnkel, and 
bade him tell him of the death of his father. 
Then Arnkel rode up to Hvamm, and some of his 
home-men with him. And when they came to 
Hvamm, then was Arnkel ware that his father was 
dead, and sat in his high-seat. But the folk were 
all full of dread, because to all folk his face seemed 

Now Arnkel went into the fire-hall, and so up 
along it behind the seat at Thorolf's back, and 
bade all beware of facing him before lyke-help 
was given to him. Then Arnkel took Thorolf by 
the shoulders, and must needs put forth all his 
strength before he brought him under. After that 
he swept a cloth about Thorolf's head, and then 
did to him according to custom. Then he let 
break down the wall behind him, and brought him 
out thereby, and then were oxen yoked to a sledge, 
and thereon was Thorolf laid out, and they drew 
him up into Thorswater-dale, and it was not with- 
out hard toil that he came to the stead whereas he 
should lie. 

There they laid Thorolf in howe strongly ; and 
then Arnkel rode to Hvamm and took to himself 
all the goods that were heaped up there, and 

The Ere- Dwellers. 89 

which his father had owned. Arnkel was there 
three nights, and nought happed to tell of the 
while, and thereafter he rode home. 


AF T E R the death of Thorolf H alt-foot many 
folk deemed it worse to be abroad as soon 
as the sun was getting low. But as the 
summer wore, men were ware of this, that Thorolf 
lay not quiet, and men might never be in peace 
abroad after sunset. And this happed withal that 
those oxen which had been yoked to Thorolf were 
troll-ridden, and all such cattle as came nigh toTho- 
rolf's howe went mad, and bellowed till they died. 
Now the herdsman at Hvamm often came home in 
such wise that Thorolf had given chase to him. 
And so it befell in the autumn at Hvamm that one 
day neither herdsman nor beasts came home ; and 
in the morning men went to seek them, and found 
the herdsman dead, a little way from Thorolfs 
howe, and he was all coal-blue, and every bone 
in him was broken. He was buried beside Thorolf 
And of all the cattle that had been in the dale, 
some were found dead, and some fled into the 
mountains, and were never found again ; and if 
fowls setded on Thorolfs howe, they fell down 

But so great trouble befell from this that no 
man durst feed his flocks up in the dale. Oft too 
was heard huge din abroad at Hvamm, and they 
were ware withal that the hall was ofttimes ridden. 

90 The Saga Library. 

And when the winter came on Thorolf was seen 
home at the house many a time, and troubled the 
goodwife the most. And great hurt gat many 
from this, but she herself was well-nigh witless 
thereat ; and such was the end of it all, that the 
goodwife died from these troublings, and was 
brought up to Thorswater-dale and buried beside 

Thereafter men fled away from the homestead, 
and now Thorolf took to walking so wide through 
the dale that he laid waste all steads therein, and 
so great was the trouble from his walking that he 
slew some men, and some fled away ; but all those 
who died were seen in his company. 

Now men bewailed them much of that trouble, 
and deemed that it was Arnkel's part to seek rede 
to better it. So Arnkel bade all those abide with 
him who had liefer be there than elsewhere ; but 
whereso Arnkel was, no harm befell from Thorolf 
and his company. 

So afeard were all men of this walking of 
Thorolf s that none durst go a journey that winter, 
what errands soever they had in the countryside. 
But when the winter had worn away the spring 
was fair ; and when the ice was off the earth, 
Arnkel sent a man into Karstead for the sons of 
Thorbrand, and bade them go with him and bring 
Thorolf away from Thorswater-dale, and search for 
another abode for him. 

Then, according to the laws of that time, it was 
due, as now, for all men, to bring dead folks to 
burial, if they were so summoned. 

But when the sons of Thorbrand heard that, 

The Ere-Dwellers. 91 

they said it lay nowise on them to put away the 
troubles of Arnkel or Arnkel's men ; but thereat 
the old carle Thorbrand answered and said : 
" Nay, need there is," says he, "to fare on all such 
journeys as all men are bound in law to do, and 
that is now bidden of you which it beseemeth you 
not to gainsay." 

Then said Thorod to the messenger : " Go thy 
ways and tell Arnkel that I will go on behalf of 
my brethren, and come to Ulfar's-fell and meet 
him there." 

Now the messenger goes, and tells Arnkel, and 
he got ready to go, and he and his were twelve in 
all, and had with them yoke-oxen and digging 
tools ; and they went first to Ulfar's-fell and met 
there Thorod, Thorbrand's son, and he and his 
were three. 

They went up over the neck, and came into 
Thorswater-dale unto Thorolf's howe, and broke 
it open, and found Thorolf all undecayed, and 
most evil to look on. 

They took him up from the grave, and laid him 
on a sledge, and yoked two strong oxen to it, and 
drew him up to Ulfar's-fell-neck, and by then were 
the oxen foundered, and others were taken that 
drew him up on to the neck, and Arnkel was 
minded to bring him to Vadils-head, and lay him 
in earth there. But when they came to the hill's 
brow the oxen went mad, and broke loose forth- 
right, and ran thence away over the neck, and 
made out along the hillside above the garth of 
Ulfar's-fell, and so out to sea, and by then were 
both bursten. 

92 The Saga Library. 

But Thorolf was by then so heavy, that they 
could bring him no further ; so they bore him to a 
little headland that was there beside, and laid him 
in earth there, and that is called sithence Halt- 
foot's Head. 

Then let Arnkel raise a wall across the head- 
land landward of the howe, so high that none 
might come thereover but fowl flying, and there 
are yet signs thereof There lay Thorolf quiet as 
long as Arnkel lived. 


SNORRI the Priest let work Crowness wood 
for all that Thorolf Halt- foot had raised 
question about it; but that was seen of 
Arnkel that he deemed that the title of that wood 
had not gone according to law, and he deemed 
that Thorolf had beguiled him of his heritage in 
that he had given the wood to Snorri the Priest. 

Now one summer Snorri the Priest sent his 
thralls to work in the wood, and they cut there 
much timber and piled it together, and then went 
home. Now while the timber was seasoning, the 
rumour ran that Arnkel would go fetch it. So it 
fell not out ; but he bade a herdsman of his watch 
when Snorri the Priest let fetch the timber, and 
tell him thereof But when the wood was dry, 
Snorri sent three thralls of his to fetch it ; and 
he got Hawk, his follower, to go with the thralls 
for their aid. So they go, and bind the wood on 
twelve horses, and then take their way home. 
Arnkel's herdsman was ware of their ways, and 

The Ere-Dwellers. 93 

told him thereof. He took his weapons and went 
after them, and came up with them west of Svelg- 
river twixt it and the Knolls, but as soon as he 
came up with them, Hawk leapt off his horse and 
thrust at Arnkel with a spear, and smote his shield, 
yet he gat no wound. Then Arnkel sprang from 
his horse and thrust with a spear at Hawk, and 
smote him in the midst, and he fell there on the 
place which is now called Hawks-river. 

But when the thralls saw the fall of Hawk, they 
took to their heels and ran off on their way home, 
and Arnkel chased them all along beyond Oxbrents, 
and then turned back and drave home with him 
the wood-horses, and took the wood off them, and 
then let them loose, and bound the load-ropes on 
them, and they were then turned on their way out 
along the fell, and they went till they came home 
to Holy fell. 

Now were these tidings told, but all was quiet 
through those seasons ; but the next spring Snorri 
the Priest set on foot a suit for the slaying of 
Hawk to be heard at the Thorsness Thing, and 
Arnkel another for an onslaught for the unhallow- 
ing of Hawk. Both sides had great followings at 
the Thing, and men pushed forward the cases 
eagerly, but such was the end of it that Hawk was 
made guilty for the onslaught, and Snorri the Priest 
was nonsuited. 

Therewith men ride home from the Thing, and 
there was much ill-blood betwixt men throughout 
the summer. 

94 The Saga Library. 


THERE was a man called Thorleif, an 
Eastfirther, who had been found guilty 
of an affair with a woman. He came to 
Holyfell in the autumn, and prayed Snorri the 
Priest to take him in, but he put him off, and 
they talked long together or ever he got him 
gone. Thereafter Thorleif went to Lairstead, and 
came there in the evening, and was there the next 

Now Arnkel got up early in the morning and 
set to nailing together the boards of his outer 
door ; and when Thorleif arose, he went to Arnkel, 
and prayed him to take him in. 

He answered somewhat slowly, and asked if he 
had been to see Snorri the Priest. 

" Yea, I have seen him," said Thorleif, " and he 
would nowise take me in ; ' and indeed, it is little 
to my mind,' says he, ' to give following to such a 
man as will ever let himself be trodden underfoot 
by every man with whom he has to do.' " 

" Meseems," says Arnkel, " that Snorri would 
nowise mend his bargains though he give thee 
meat and drink for thy following." 

" Nay, here whereas thou art will I have leave 
to dwell, Arnkel," said Thorleif. 

"It is not my wont," said Arnkel, "to take in 
out-country men." 

So there they gave and took in talk awhile, and 
Thorleif ever held fast by his prayer, but Arnkel 
put him off. 

The Ere-Dwellers. 95 

Now Arnkel fell to boring holes in the door- 
ledge, and laid his adze down the while. Thorleif 
took it up, and heaved it up swiftly over his head 
with the mind to bring it down on Arnkel's skull, 
but Arnkel heard the whistle of it and ran in under 
the stroke, and heaved up Thorleif by the breast, 
and soon was proven the measure of either's strength, 
for Arnkel was wondrous strong. So he cast Thorleif 
down with so great a fall that he lay stunned, and 
the adze flew out of his hand, and Arnkel got hold 
thereof and smote it into Thorleifs head, and gave 
him his death-wound. 

So the rumour ran that it was Snorri the Priest 
who sent that man for Arnkel's head, but Snorri 
made as if the story had nought to do with him, 
and let folk say what they would. And so those 
seasons slipped away that nought else is to be 
told of 


THE autumn after, at winter-nights, Snorri 
the Priest had a great autumn-feast, and 
bade his friends thereto. Ale drinking 
they had thereat, and folk drank fast and were 
very merry with ale. 

Now the talk fell on pairing men together by 
their worth, and as to who was the noblest man in 
the countryside or the greatest chief, and thereon 
were men not at one, as oft it haps when the talk 
falls on likening man to man. To most of them in- 
deed it seemed that Snorri was the noblest man, 
but some named Arnkel, and Stir forsooth. 

96 The Saga Library. 

But as they talked hereover, then Thorleif 
Kimbi answered and said : 

" Why do men bicker over such a matter," says 
he, " when all may see how it is ? " 

" What wilt thou say hereon, Thorleif," said they, 
" if thou splittest the case into so many frag- 
ments ? " 

" Much the greatest do I deem Arnkel," said he. 

"What hast thou to back this with ?" said they. 

" That which is true," says he. " For I call Snorri 
the Priest and Stir but as one man, because of 
their affinity ; but of Arnkel's home-men that Snorri 
has killed, none lie by his garth unatoned like as 
Hawk, Snorri's follower, whom Arnkel slew, lies 
here by Snorri's garth." 

This men deemed a big word, true though it 
were, since the talk had gone so far ; but hereat 
dropped that talk. 

But whenas men went from the bidding, Snorri 
the Priest chose gifts for his friends. He led Thor- 
brand's sons down to their ship at Redwick-head ; 
and as they parted Snorri went to Thorleif Kimbi 
and said : 

" Here is an axe, Thorleif, which I will give 
thee ; it is the longest handled of all I have, yet will 
it not reach Arnkel's head when he stacks his hay 
at Orligstead, if thou heavest it at him all the way 
from Swanfirth." 

He took the axe and said : " Deem well," says 
he, " that I will not hang back in heaving this axe 
on Arnkel whenas thou hast wrought the revenge 
for Hawk thy follower." 

Snorri answered : " That methinks is due from 

The Ere-Dwellers. g-j 

you to me, sons of Thorbrand, that ye have spies 
out to watch for a chance at Arnkel, but blame 
me then if I come not to meet you when aught 
may be done if ye make me ware thereof." 

Therewith they parted, and both gave out that 
they were ready to plot against Arnkel's life, and 
Thorbrand's sons were to have a spy on his 

Early that winter was there much ice, and all 
firths were overlaid therewith. Freystein Rascal 
watched sheep in Swanfirth, and he was set to spy 
out an occasion against Arnkel. 

Arnkel was a great man for work, and made his 
thralls work all day from sunrise to sunset. He had 
under him both the lands of Ulfar's-fell and Orlig- 
stead, for no one could be got to dwell on the lands 
for fear of the violence of Thorbrand's sons. Now 
in the winter it was Arnkel's wont to carry hay from 
Orligstead in the night in the new moons, because 
the thralls did other work at home by day. Nor 
did he heed if Thorbrand's sons were unware of the 
carrying of hay. Now on a night of winter before 
Yule, Arnkel arose and waked three of his thralls, 
one of whom was called Ofeig. Goodman Arnkel 
went with them up to Orligstead. Four oxen they 
had, and two sledges withal. 

The sons of Thorbrand were ware of Arnkel's 
ways, and Freystein Rascal went that night over 
the ice to Holyfell, and came there by then men 
had been abed for a space. He took Snorri by 
the foot and waked him, and Snorri asked what he 
would. He answers : " Now has the old eagle 
taken flight to his quarry at Orligstead." 

II. H 

98 The Saga Library. 

Snorri rose up and bade men clothe themselves. 
So when they were clad, they took their weapons 
and fared nine of them altogether over the ice to 
Swanfirth. And when they came to the bottom of 
the firth, Thorbrand's sons came to meet them, and 
were six in company. 

Then they fared up to Orligstead, and by then 
they came there, one of the thralls had gone home 
with a load of hay, and Arnkel and the others 
were busy on a second. 

Then saw Arnkel and his folk how armed men 
came up from the sea, and Ofeig said thereon that 
unpeace was at hand, and there was nought for 
it but to get them gone homeward. 

Arnkel answered : " Good rede can I give 
thereto, and now shall we each of us do what 
each best liketh. Ye shall run home and wake up 
my following, and they will come quickly to meet 
me, but here in the rickyard is a good place to 
make a stand, and from hence will I defend myself 
if they come in warlike wise, for that meseems 
is better than running ; nor shall I soon be over- 
come, and speedily will my men come to me, if ye 
do your errands in manly wise." 

So when Arnkel had thus made an end of speak- 
ing, the thralls set off a-running ; and Ofeig was the 
swiftest, but so afeard he was that he well-nigh 
went out of his wits, and ran off into the mountain 
and fell into a force there and was lost, and that is 
since called Ofeig's-force. The other thrall ran 
home to the stead, and when he came to the hay- 
barn there was his fellow-thrall before him carry- 
ing in the hay. He called to the thrall as he ran 

The Ere-Dwellers. 99 

to help bear in the hay to him, and behke the thrall 
was nowise loth of that work, so he went to help 

Now it is to be said of Arnkel that he knew 
how Snorri the Priest and his folk went there, and 
he tore the runner from under the sledge, and had 
it up into the garth with him. The garth was very- 
high outside, and within it was heaped up high as 
well ; and a good fighting-stead it was. Hay was 
in the garth, but the garth-pieces of the stacks were 
cleared off. 

Now when Snorri and his folk came to the 
garth, it is not told that any words befell there, 
but straightway they set on Arnkel, and chiefly 
with spear-thrust, which Arnkel put from him with 
the sledge-runner, and many of the spear-shafts 
were broken thereby, nor was Arnkel wounded ; 
but when they had spent their shot-weapons, then 
Thorleif Kimbi ran at the garth and leapt up on to 
it with sword drawn, and Arnkel smote at him with 
the sledge-runner, and Thorleif dropped down 
,away from the stroke out of the garth, and the 
runner smote against the garth wall, and up there- 
from flew a piece of frozen turf ; but the sledge- 
runner was broken at the mortice, and part thereof 
fell out over the garth. Arnkel had laid his sword 
and shield against a hayrick, and now he took 
up his weapons and defended himself therewith ; 
but now he began to gather wounds, and withal 
they came up into the garth about him. Then 
Arnkel leapt up on to the hayrick, and de- 
fended himself thence for a space, but such was 
the end of the matter that he fell, and they 

100 The Saga Library. 

covered him over there in the garth with hay ; 
and thereafter Snorri and his folk fared home to 

Over the slaying of Arnkel, Thormod Trefilson 
made this stave : 

Snorri the fight-strong 
Fetched for the wound-fowl 
Full feed with war-sword — 
Young he, and fame-fulfilled. 
O feeders of battle-fowl, 
Wild-fire of battle-storm 
Clave the life's coffer, 
Where Snorri felled Arnkel. 

Now it is to be said of Arnkel's thralls, that 
they went into the house after they had borne the 
hay in, and did off their skin cloaks. 

Then the followers of Arnkel woke and asked 
where he was. Then was the thrall as one roused 
up from sleep, and answered : " Yea, forsooth," 
said he, " he will be fighting with Snorri the Priest 
at Orligstead." 

Then men sprang up and clad themselves, and 
fared at their swiftest in to Orligstead, and found 
goodman Arnkel dead. And great grief was that 
to all men ; for that he was the doughtiest of all 
men of the ancient faith in all matters ; the wisest 
of men, of good mind fashioned, and great-hearted, 
and the boldest of all men, single-hearted, and 
exceeding well-ruled. Withal he ever had the 
better in all lawsuits with whomsoever he had to 
deal, and therefrom gat he great envy, as was well 
shown now. 

Now they took Arnkel's body and laid it out 

The Ere- Dwellers. loi 

for burial. Arnkel was laid in howe beside the 
sea out by Vadils-head, and that is a big howe as 
big as a big stackgarth. 


AFTER the slaying of Arnkel, the heritage 
and blood-suit fell to women, and for this 
reason the blood-suit was not pushed for- 
ward so strongly as men deemed they might have 
looked for over so noble a man. But atonement 
was settled for the slaying at the Thing, and the 
only outlawry was that Thorleif Kimbi should 
abide abroad for three winters, because on him 
was laid the death-wound of Arnkel. 

But because the blood-suit was not so seemly as 
men deemed befitted such a chief as was Arnkel, 
the rulers of the land made this law, that for the 
time to come no woman and no man under sixteen 
winters old should be suitors in a blood-suit. And 
that law has ever been holden to since. 


THORLEIF KIMBI took ship that same 
summer with chapmen who got ready 
in Streamfirth, and was a messmate of 
the masters. In those days was it the wont of 
chapmen to have no cooks, but the messmates 
chose by lot from amongst themselves who should 
have the ward of the mess day by day. Then too 
was it the wont of all the shipmen to have their 

102 The Saga Library, 

drink in common, and a cask should stand by the 
mast with the drink therein, and a locked lid was 
over it. But some of the drink was in tuns, and 
was added to the cask thence as soon as it was 
drunk out. 

Now when they were nigh ready there came 
one forth upon the ledge of rock by the booths. 
This man was great of growth, and had a bundle 
on his back, and seemed to men somewhat un- 
couth. He asked for the ship-master, and he was 
shown to his booth. So he laid down his baof at the 
booth-door and went into the booth, and asked if 
the skipper would give him a passage over the sea. 

They asked him of his name, and he called him- 
self Arnbiorn, the son of Asbrand of Combe, and 
said he fain would fare out and seek Biorn his 
brother, who had gone out some winters before, 
and had not been heard of since he went to 

The Eastmen said that the bulk was bound 
down, and they deemed it might not be undone. 
He said he had not more faring goods than might 
lie on the top of the bulk. But whereas they 
deemed him to have great need of faring, they 
took him to them, but he found himself in victual, 
and abode on the forecastle. 

In his bag were three hundreds in wadmal, and 
twelve skins for sale, and his victual. 

Now Arnbiorn was of good help and a brisk 
man, and the chapmen held him of good account. 

They had a fair passage out and made Horda- 
land, and took land at an outskerry, and dight their 
victuals on land. 

The Ere-Dwellers. 103 

Thorleif Kimbi was the allotted mess-ward, and 
had to make porridge. Arnbiorn was aland 
and made porridge for himself, and had the mess- 
kettle which Thorleif was to have afterwards. 
Then went Thorleif aland and bade Arnbiorn give 
him his kettle, but he had not yet made his own 
porridge, but stirred the kettle while Thorleif stood 
over him. Now the Eastmen called aland from the 
ship and bade Thorleif get ready the meat, and 
said that he was just an Icelander because of 
his laziness. Then Thorleif lost his temper, and 
caught up the kettle and cast out Arnbiorn's 
porridge, and then turned away. 

Arnbiorn had the stirring-stick in his hand, and 
therewith he smote at Thorleif and caught him on 
the neck, and the blow was not great, but whereas 
the porridge was hot, Thorleif was scalded on his 
neck. Then Thorleif said : 

" These Northmen shall not mock us, since we 
be here two fellow-countrymen together, that they 
must needs drag us apart like dogs ; but I shall 
mind me of this when we are together in Iceland." 

Arnbiorn answered nought. So they lay there 
three nights before they had a wind for land ; 
then they brought their goods ashore. 

Thorleif guested there, but Arnbiorn took ship 
with certain traders east to Wick, and thence to 
Denmark to seek for his brother Biorn. 

I04 The Saga Library. 


THORLEIF KIMBI was two winters in 
Norway, and then went back to Iceland 
with the same chapmen as he had fared 
out with. They made Broadfirth and came to 
Dayn\eal-ness, and Thorleif went home to Swan- 
firth in the autumn, and made much of himself as 
his manner was. 

That same summer came out to Lavahaven- 
mouth those brothers Biorn and Arnbiorn, and 
Biorn was afterwards called the Champion of the 
Broadwickers. Arnbiorn had by then brought home 
a pretty penny ; and as soon as he came aland that 
summer he bouo^ht him land at Bank in Lava- 
haven, and set up house there the next spring. 
That winter he spent at Cnear with Thord Wall- 
eye, his brother-in-law. Arnbiorn was not a man for 
show, and was of few words in most matters, yet 
the stoutest and manliest of men in every wise. 
But Biorn his brother was a very stately man 
when he came out, and fair was his mien, for that 
he had shaped himself after the customs of outland 
chiefs. A far goodlier man was he than Arnbiorn, 
and in nothing of less skill than he, and in hardi- 
hood far more proven, for thereby he had gained 
renown in the outlands. 

Now in the summer, when these were new come 
out, was appointed a great meeting of men north 
of the heath under Howebrent, in from Frodis- 
mouth. So those chapmen rode thither all of 

The Ere-Dwellers. 105 

them, in coloured raiment, and when they came to 
the assembly, there were many there before them, 
and Thurid withal the goodwife of Frodis-water, 
and Biorn went to talk with her ; and no man laid a 
word on them therefor, for they deemed that it was 
to be looked for that they should have much to 
say to each other, so long as it was since they met 

Now that day men gave and took wounds, and 
one man from the Northcountry-men was brought 
to his death, and he was borne into a copse that 
was on the ere, and much blood ran from his 
wounds, and there stood a pool of blood in the 
copse. There was the youngling Kiartan, the son 
of Thurid of Frodis-water, with a little axe in his 
hand ; he ran to the copse, and dipped the axe in 
the blood. 

But when the folk from the south side of the 
heath rode south from the meeting, Thord Wall- 
eye asked Biorn how things had gone in the talk 
betwixt him and Thurid of Frodis-water. Biorn 
seemed well pleased thereabout. Then Thord 
asked Biorn if he had seen that day the youngling 
Kiartan, the son of Thurid and Thorod and them 
all together. 

" Yea, I saw him," cried Biorn. 

" In what wise didst thou deem of him ? " said 

Then sang Biorn this stave : 

The young tree I saw there, the eager-eyed sapUng, 
The youngling, the very own image of her, 
That gem-bestrewn table ; he ran to the tree-grove, 
Whence the brook of the Wolf, even Fenrir, was welling. 

io6 The Saga Library. 

They who waste wide the flame of Morn's river, meseemeth 
Have been hitherto heedful to hide from the stripUng 
The name of the father who erewhile begat him, 
He who speedeth the steeds of the streams of the Ocean. 

Then said Thord : " What will Thorod now say 
as to which of you two owns the swain ? " 
Then sang Biorn yet again : 

Then the slender-sweet fir-tree of Thorod, that beareth 

The fells goodly-fashioned shall find of my guessing, 

That truly I guessed it — Ah, surely the coif-field. 

The snow-white of women, erewhile well hath loved me — 

If so it befell that the kin-famous woman, 

The table of jewels, bore son like my body 

Now, whatso betideth I weary in longing 

For that Valkyr of flame of the sea-flood a-roaring. 

Thord said : " Yea, but it must now be thy rede 
to have but little to do with her, and to turn thy 
mind from thence whereas she is." 

" Good rede," said Biorn ; ** yet far is it from my 
mind, though I have to do with somewhat over- 
mighty a man whereas her brother Snorri is." 

" See to that thyself," said Thord ; and there- 
withal they dropped their talk. And now Biorn 
went home to Combe, and there took on him the 
ruling of the house, because his father was by then 
dead. He betook himself anew to a journey north 
over the heath to meet Thurid that winter, and 
though Thorod misliked it, yet he deemed it no 
easy thing for him to better matters ; for his mind 
told him how hardly he had fared whenas he had 
made trouble of their ways aforetime, and he saw 
that Biorn was now far mightier than heretofore. 

But Thorod made a bargain that winter with 
Thorgrima Witch-face that she should bring a 

The Ere-Dwellers. 107 

storm on Biorn as he went over the heath ; and on 
a day Biorn fared to Frodis-water, and in the evening 
when he was ready to go home the weather waxed 
thick, and somewhat it rained, and he withal was 
rather late ready ; but when he came upon the 
heath cold grew the weather, and the snow drave 
down, and so dark it was that he might not see the 
road before him. Then came on a storm, with 
such hail that he might scarce keep his feet, and 
his clothes, which before had got wet through, took 
to freezing on him, and he was so wildered withal 
that he knew not which way he turned ; but in the 
night he found a cave in the rocks and went 
therein and abode there that night, and cold 
harbour he had. There sang Biorn : 

The Goddess of sea-flame, the weed-wearer, surely 
Heavy-hearted would wax if of me she were wotting ; 
If she heard of my plight here, and how I am lying 
All amidst of ill weather, the woe of the woodland. 
If the Goddess of wildfire of waves did but know it, 
How the heeder, the herder of yoke-beasts that labour 
The field of the sea-flood, is lying alone 
All starven with cold in the cave of the stone-heaps ! 

And still he sang : 

With the boards was I shearing the icy cold swan-field \ 
From the East in the laden keel fared I erewhile; 
So hard and so hard there the dear bride she drew me ; 
So fast and so fast in her love was I bounden. 
Weary wet-worn I was as we wended thereover 
The highway of waves ; and now all heart-heavy 
The grove of the battle in cave hath abiding 
Instead of the fair woman's bolster beneath him. 

Biorn was out in the cave for three days before 
the storm abated, and by then he left the heath it 

io8 The Saga Library. 

was the fourth day, and so he came home to Combe 
much wearied ; but the home-men asked of him 
where he had been amidst the storm ; and Biorn 
sang : 

Time was when my deeds neath the banner well warded 
That Styrbiorn was bearing, were blazoned abroad, 
Whenas Eric the Iron-coat fared in the field, 
And smote down the host in the din of the spear-flight. 
Now wandering, bewildered I trod the heath over, 
And wended my ways in the teeth of the sleet-drift. 
That was wrought but for me by the spell-working wife ', 
For the wide way, the waste, was o'er ill for the tracking. 

So Biorn abode at home the winter through ; 
but in the spring Arnbiorn his brother set up 
house at Bank in Lavahaven, while Biorn abode 
still at Combe, and kept a noble house. 


THAT same spring at the Thorsness Thing, 
Thorleif Kimbi fell to wooing a wife, and 
prayed for Helga, daughter of Thorlak of 
Ere, and sister of Steinthor of that ilk ; and 
Thormod her brother pressed this forward most, 
he who had to wife Thorgerd, daughter of Thor- 
brand, and sister of Thorleif Kimbi. But when the 
matter came before Steinthor, he took it up coldly, 
and must ask counsel of his brothers. So then 
they went to Thord Wall-eye, and when the matter 
was laid before him, he answered thus : 

" I will not put this affair off on to other men, 
for herein may I be the shaper ; so this I have to 

The Ere-Dwellers. 109 

say to thee, Thorleif, that first must the porridge 
spots on thy neck be healed, wherewith thou wast 
burnt when thou wast beaten in Norway three 
winters agone, or ever I give thee my sister." 

Thorleif answered : " I know not what my 
fortune may be therein ; but whether that be 
avenged or not," says he, " my will it is that three 
winters pass not ere thou be beaten." 

Thord answered : " I sit without fear in despite 
of thy threats." 

But the next morning men had a turf-play beside 
the booth of the sons of Thorbrand, and as 
Thorlak's sons passed by, forth flew a great piece 
of turf, and smote Thord Wall-eye under the 
poll, and so great was the stroke, that he fell heels 
over head ; but when he arose, he saw that Thor- 
brand's sons were laughing at him hugely. Then 
Thorlak's sons turned back and drew their swords, 
and they ran to meet one another, and forthwithal 
they fought together, and some were wounded, but 
none slain. 

Steinthor had not been there, for he had been 
in talk with Snorri the Priest. So when they were 
parted, folk strove to bring about peace ; and so it 
was settled that Snorri and Steinthor should be 
umpires in the matter. So the wounds of men and 
the onset were set one against the other, but the 
remnant over was atoned for ; and all were called 
at one again whenas they rode home. 

I lo The Saga Library. 


THAT summer a ship came out into Lava- 
haven-mouth, and another to Daymeal- 
ness. Snorri the Priest rode to the ship 
at Lavahaven, and fourteen men with him ; but 
when they came south over the heath to Dufgus- 
dale, six men all-armed rode after them, and there 
were the sons of Thorbrand. Snorri asked whither 
they were minded to fare, but they said they would 
go to the ship at Lavahaven-mouth. Snorri said 
that he would do their errands for them, and bade 
them go back home and not raise quarrels betwixt 
men ; and he said that often little was needed for 
that matter among those who were unfriends toge- 
ther already, if they should chance to meet. 

Thorleif Kimbi answered : " It shall not be told 
of us that we durst not ride through the country- 
side because of the Broadwickers ; but thou 
mayest well ride home, if thou darest not to ride on 
thy ways when thou hast an errand." 

Snorri answered nought, and so they rode forth 
over the necks, and so forth to Templegarth, and 
then west over the sands along the sea ; but when 
they came anigh to the Mouth, Thorbrand's sons 
rode from the company up to Bank ; and when 
they came to the homestead they leapt off their 
horses and were minded to enter, but might not 
break open the door. Then they leapt up on to 
the house, and fell to unroofing it. 

Arnbiorn took his weapons, and warded himself 
from the inside of the house. He thrust out 

The Ere-Dwellers. 1 1 1 

through the thatch, and that became wound- 
some to them. This was early in the morning, 
and the weather was bright and clear; and that 
morning had those of Broadwick arisen early, with 
the mind to ride to the ship ; but when they came 
west of the shoulder of the fell, then saw they a 
man in coloured clothes up on the house-roof at 
Bank, and they wotted well that it was not the 
attire of Arnbiorn. Then Biorn and his folk 
spurred on their horses, and turned their way 

But when Snorri the Priest was ware that the 
sons of Thorbrand had ridden away from his com- 
pany, he rode after them, and by then he and his 
came to Bank were those others working at their 
maddest for the unroofing of the house. Then 
Snorri bade them begone thence, nor work any 
unpeaceful deeds in his company, so whereas they 
had got no entrance there, they even gave up the 
onset as Snorri bade, and rode thereafter to the 
ship with Snorri. 

Now those of Broadwick came to the ship that 
same day, and either side went with their own band, 
and great ill-will there was, and cross looks enow, 
but neither side set on another, yet the men of Broad- 
wick were the most in number at the market. Snorri 
the Priest rode in the evening south to Templegarth, 
whereas Biorn dwelt as then with his son Guest, 
who was the father of Templegarth- Ref. The folk 
of Biorn the Champion of the Broadwickers offered 
Arnbiorn to ride after those of Snorri the Priest, 
but Arnbiorn would not have it so, but said that 
each should have what he had got. Those of 

112 The Saga Library. 

Snorri rode home the next day, and the sons of 
Thorbrand were worse content with their lot than 
heretofore. And now the autumn began to wear. 


NOW goodman Thorbrand had a thrall 
who was called Egil the Strong, the big- 
gest and strongest of men, and he thought 
his life ill in that he was no free man, and would 
oft pray Thorbrand and his sons to give him his 
freedom, and offered to do therefor any such work 
as he might. So one evening Egil went with his 
sheep out to Burgdale in Swanfirth, and as the even- 
ing grew late, he saw an erne fly from the west over 
the firth. Now a oreat deerhound was with Eg-il, 
and lo, the erne swooped on the hound, and took him 
up in her claws, and flew back west over the firth 
straight for the howe of Thorolf Halt-foot, and 
vanished there, under the mountain ; and a fore- 
boding of tidings Thorbrand deemed this. 

Now it was the wont of the Broadwickers in 
autumn, about the time of winter-nights, to have 
ball-play under the shoulder south of Cnear, and 
the place thereafter was called the Playhall-meads, 
and men betook themselves thither from all the 
countryside, and great play-halls were made there, 
wherein men abode and dwelt there a half month 
or more. Many chosen men there were as then in 
the countryside, and it was thickly peopled. Most 
of the young men were at the plays, except Thord 
Wall-eye ; but he might not deal therein because 
of his too great eagerness, though he was not so 

The Ere-Dwellers. 1 1 3 

strong that he might not play for that cause. So 
he sat on a chair and looked on the play. Those 
brethren withal, Biorn and Arnbiorn, were not 
deemed meet to play because of their strength, 
unless they played one against the other. 

That same autumn Thorbrand's sons fell to talk 
with Egil that he should go to the ball-play and 
slay some one of the Broadwickers, either Biorn or 
Thord or Arnbiorn, in some wise, and that he 
should have his freedom after therefor ; and some 
men say that that was done by Snorri's rede, and 
that he had so counselled that the thrall should try 
if he might get into the hall by stealth, and thence 
whereas he lurked do somewhat for the wounding 
of men ; and he bade him go down the pass which 
is above Playhalls, and go down thence when the 
meal-fires were kindled ; for he said it was mostly 
the way of the weather that a wind would blow off 
the lava in the evening and drive the smoke up into 
the pass. So he bade him abide his time to go 
down till the pass should be full of smoke. 

Egil betook himself to this journey, and went 
first west over the firths, and asked after the sheep 
of the Swanfirthers, and made as if he were going 
a sheep-gleaning. 

Now whilst he was on his way, Freystein Rascal 
was to watch the sheep in Swanfirth. So in the 
evening, when Egil had gone from home, Frey- 
stein went west over the river to the sheep, and 
when he came to that scree which is called Geirvor, 
and which goes down west of the river, he saw a 
man's head lying trunkless there and uncovered, 
and the head sang this stave : 

II. I 

114 The Saga Library. 

With man's blood Geirvor 
Is reddened over, 
The skulls of men-folk 
Shall she cover. 

He told Thorbrand of this foreboding, and 
Thorbrand deemed that tidings might well be 
looked for. 

Now it is to be told of Egil that he went west 
along the firths, and up into the mountain east 
from Buland's-head, and so south over the 
mountain, and laid his course so that he went 
down into the pass by Playhalls, and there lay hid 
the day long and looked on the play. Now Thord 
Wall-eye sat by the play, and he said : 

" I wot not what thing I see up in the pass 
there, whether it be a fowl, or a man lying in 
hiding ; it comes up at whiles, and certes," said he, 
" it is something quick, and methinks it were well 
done to go look to it," 

But no other man saw that, and therefore no 
search was made. 

Now that day Biorn the Champion of the Broad- 
wickers was chosen by lot as mess-ward along with 
Thord Wall-eye ; and Biorn was to light the fire, 
and Thord to fetch the water ; and so when the 
fire was made, the smoke hung about the pass, 
even as Snorri had guessed. So Egil went down 
along the smoke, and made for the hall whenas 
the play was not yet over, though the day was far 
spent ; and the fires began to burn up, and the 
hall was full of the reek. 

Egil made his way thither. He had got very 
stiff coming over the mountain, and lying after- 

The Ere-Dwellers. 115 

wards in the pass. Tasselled shoe-ties he had, 
after the fashion of those days, and one of the 
thongs got loose, and the tassel dragged behind as 
the thrall went into the porch of the hall. But 
when he went into the main-hall he would fain go 
softly, for there he saw how Biorn and Thord sat 
by the fire, and he deemed well that in a short 
while he would win him a free life for ever. 

But now, when he would step over the thres- 
hold, he trod on the tasselled thong which dragged, 
and when he put forth his other foot, the thong stuck 
fast, and therewith he tottered over, and fell in on 
the floor with as great fall and clatter as if the 
carcass of a flayed ox had been cast down. 

Then Thord sprang up and asked what fiend 
fared there. And therewith up leapt Biorn, and 
got hold of the thrall or ever he gat to his feet, 
and asked him who he was. 

" Egil it is, goodfellow Biorn," said he. 

Biorn asked : " What Egil ? " 

" Egil of Swanfirth," says he. 

Then Thord took his sword and would slay 
him, but Biorn caught hold of Thord and bade 
him not slay the man so hastily, " for we will first 
have a true tale of him." 

Then Thord held back, and so they did fet- 
ters on the feet of Egil, but in the evening, when 
men came home to the hall, Egil told in such wise 
that all men might hear it, what journey he had 
been minded to make of it. So there he abode the 
night long. But in the morning they brought him 
up into the pass which is now called Egil's pass, 
and slew him there. 

ii6 The Saga Library. 

But there was a law In those days that what 
man soever slew a thrall from any man should 
bring home the thrall's-gild therefor, and must 
begin his journey before the third sun after the 
slaying of the thrall. And the weregild was to be 
twelve ounces of silver, and if it were brought 
home according to law, no blood-suit lay for the 
slaying of the thrall. 

So after the slaying of Egil, those of Broadwick 
took that rede, to bring home the thrall's-gild 
according to law. They chose out thirty men 
thence from Playhalls, and a band of picked 
men was that. And these rode north over the 
heath, and guested that night with Steinthor of 
Ere, and he betook himself to faring with them. 
So going thence they were sixty in company, and 
rode in over the firths, and were the next night at 
Bank, with Thormod, Steinthor's brother. Then 
they called on Stir and Vermund their kinsmen to 
go with them, and were then eighty men in all. 

Then sent Steinthor a man to Holyfell, for he 
would know what rede Snorri the Priest would 
take to, when he heard of the gathering of folk. 

But when the messenger came to Holyfell, there 
sat Snorri the Priest in his high-seat, nor was 
aught changed in his dwelling, and Steinthor's 
messenger was nowise ware what Snorri was 
minded to do. So when he came out to Bank he 
told Steinthor of what betid at Holyfell. Stein- 
thor answered that it was to be looked for that 
Snorri would bear the law of men ; " and if he 
fare not into Swantirth, I see not to what end we 
have need of that force of ours ; therefore I will 

The Ere- Dwellers. 1 1 7 

that men fare peaceably, though we uphold our 
cases at law, 

" Meseems, kinsman Thord," says he, " that ye 
Broadwickers had best abide behind here ; because 
there needeth but the least thing to set you by the 
ears, ye and Thorbrand's sons." 

Thord answered : " Verily I shall go, nor shall 
Thorleif Kimbi have therewith to jeer at me, that 
I durst not bring home a thrall's-gild." 

Then spake Steinthor to those brethren, Biorn 
and Arnbiorn : " That will I," says he, " that ye 
abide behind with twenty men." 

Biorn said : " I will not strive to be in thy 
fellowship beyond what seemeth good to thee, but 
never before has it happed to me to be driven from 
any company. Meseems," says he, "that Snorri the 
Priest will be deep enough in his redes. I am not 
foreseeing," quoth Biorn, " yet my mind misgiveth 
me, that such things may befall in this journey, that 
thou may'st not deem thy men over-many or ever 
we meet again." 

Steinthor answered : " I shall rule over all while 
I am anigh, though I be not so deeply wise as 
Snorri the Priest." 

" That may'st thou do as for me, kinsman," said 

Thereafter rode away from Bank Steinthor and 
his men, some sixty in company, in over the Skeid 
to Drapalith, and so in over Waterneck-head, and 
across the Swallow-river-dale, and made thence in- 
ward for Ulfar's-fell-neck, 

1 1 8 The Saga Library. 


SNORRI the Priest had sent word to his 
neighbours that they should bring their 
boats under Redwick-head ; and he went 
thither with his home-men as soon as Steinthor's 
messenger was gone ; and he went not before, 
because he thought he saw that the man had been 
sent to spy over his doings. So Snorri went up 
Swanfirth, and had nigh fifty men with three keels, 
and came to Karstead before Steinthor and his 
men. But when folk saw the coming of Steinthor 
and his men, the sons of Thorbrand cried out to go 
meet them, " and let them not get entry into the 
home-field, for that we have both a great company 
and a goodly." 

Now they who were there were eighty men. 
But Snorri said : " Nay, we will not ward the 
homestead from them, and Steinthor shall have 
the law, for peaceably and wisely will he fare in 
his redes. So I will that all men abide within, 
and let no man cast any vain words at them in 
such wise as that the troubles of men be eked 

With that all men went into the chamber, and 
men sat on the benches. But the sons of Thorbrand 
walked up and down the floor. 

Now Steinthor and his folk rode up to the door ; 
and for him it is said that he was in a red kirtle, 
and had pulled up the front skirts through his 
belt. A fair shield he had, and a helm, and was 
girt with a sword that was cunningly wrought ; the 
hilts were white with silver, and the grip wrapped 

The Ere-Dwellers. 1 1 9 

round with the same, but the strings thereof were 

Steinthor and his folk leapt off their horses, and 
he went up to the door, and made fast to the door- 
post a purse wherein were twelve ounces of 
silver. Then he named witnesses to the thrall's- 
gild being brought home according to law. The 
door was open, and a certain handmaid stood 
thereby, and heard the naming of the witnesses. 
Then she went into the chamber and said : 

'' Yea, both things are true, that Steinthor of 
Ere is a manly man, and moreover that he spoke 
well when he brought the thrall's-gild." 

But when Thorleif Kimbi heard that, he ran 
out with the other sons of Thorbrand, and then 
all went forth who were in the chamber. Thorleif 
came first to the door, and saw where Thord Wall- 
eye stood before the doorway with his shield ; but 
even therewith Steinthor went forth into the home- 
field. Thorleif took a spear which stood there in 
the doorway, and thrust it at Thord Wall-eye, and 
the thrust smote his shield and glanced off it unto 
the shoulder, and that was a great wound. After 
this men ran out and there was battle in the 
home-mead, and Steinthor was of the eagerest, 
and smote on either hand of him. But when 
Snorri the Priest came out he bade men stay 
the unpeace, and bade Steinthor ride away from 
the homestead, and said that he would not suffer 
men to ride after them. So Steinthor and his 
folks fared adown the mead, and men parted in 
such wise. 

But when Snorri the Priest came back to the 

1 20 • The Saga Library. 

door, there stood Thorod his son with a great 
wound in his shoulder, and he was then twelve 
winters old. Snorri asked who had brought that 

" Steinthor of Ere," said he. 

And Thorleif Kimbi answered and said : " Now 
has he rewarded thee in meet wise, for that thou 
wouldst not have us chase him ; but my rede it is 
that we part not thus." 

" Yea, so shall it be now," said Snorri, " that we 
shall have more dealings with them." And he 
bade Thorleif withal tell the men to follow after 

Now Steinthor and his folk were come down 
from the field when they saw the chase, and there- 
with they crossed the river and turned up on to 
the scree Geirvor, and made them ready for a 
stand ; for a good fighting-stead was that because 
of the stones. But as Snorri's company came up 
the scree, Steinthor cast a spear over Snorri's folk 
for his good luck, according to ancient custom ; 
but the spear sought a mark for itself, and in its 
way was Mar, the kinsman of Snorri, who was 
straightway put out of the fight. So when that 
was told Snorri the Priest, he answered : *' It is 
well that men should see," says he, " that he is not 
always in the best case that goeth the last." 

So then befell a great battle, and Steinthor was 
at the head of his own folk, and smote on either 
hand of him ; but the fair-wrought sword bit not 
whenas it smote armour, and oft he must straighten 
it under his foot. He made most for the place 
whereas was Snorri the Priest. 

The Ere-Dwellers. 1 2 1 

Stir Thorgrimson set on fiercely with Steinthor 
his kinsman, and his first hap was that he slew 
a man of the folk of Snorri the Priest, his son- 
in-law ; but when Snorri saw that he cried to 
Stir : 

" Thus, forsooth, thou avengest Thorod, the son 
of thy daughter, whom Steinthor of Ere has brought 
unto death ; the greatest of dastards art thou." 

Stir looked on him and said : " Speedily I may 
atone for that ; " and he shifted his shield withal, 
and turned to the side of Snorri the Priest, and 
slew another man, but this time a man of Stein- 
thor's band. 

Now even herewith came up from Longdale the 
father and son, Aslak and Illugi the Red, and 
sought to go between them. Thirty men they had 
with them, and to that company joined himself 
Vermund the Slender. 

So then they prayed Snorri the Priest to let stay 
the slaughter of men, and Snorri bade the Ere- 
dwellers come up and make a truce. Then Aslak, 
he and his, bade Steinthor take truce for his men. 
So Steinthor bade Snorri reach forth his hand, and 
he did so ; but therewith Steinthor raised his 
sword aloft and cut at Snorri's arm, and great was 
the clatter of the stroke, for it smote the stall-ring, 
and well-nigh struck it asunder, but Snorri was 
nowise wounded. 

Then cried out Thorod Thorbrandson : " No 
truce will they have ! Well then, let us set on, and 
stay not till all the sons of Thorlak are slain." 

But Snorri the Priest answered : " Turmoil enow 
it would bring to the countryside if all sons of 

122 The Saga Library. 

Thorlak were slain, and the truce shall be holden 
to if Steinthor will, after the word aforesaid." 

Then all bade Steinthor take the truce; and 
things went so far, that a truce was declared be- 
twixt man and man until such time as they came 
back each one to his home. 

Now it is to be told of the Broadwick folk that 
they knew how Snorri the Priest had fared with a 
flock to Swanfirth. So they take their horses and 
ride after Steinthor at their swiftest, and they were 
on Ulfar's-fell-neck whiles the fight was on the 
scree ; and some men say that Snorri the Priest 
saw Biorn and his folk as they came up on the 
hill's brow, whenas he happened to turn and face 
them, and that for that cause he was so easy in 
the terms of the truce with Steinthor and his 

So when Biorn and Steinthor met at Orligstead, 
Biorn said that matters had gone even after his 
guessing. " And my rede it is," said he, " that 
ye turn back now, and drive them hard." 

But Steinthor said : " Nay, I will hold to the 
truce I have made with Snorri the Priest, in what- 
so ways matters may go betwixt us hereafter." 

Thereafter they ride each to his own home, but 
Thord Wall-Eye lay wounded at Ere. In the 
fight at Swanfirth five men had fallen of Steinthor's 
company, and two of Snorri the Priest ; but many 
were wounded on either side, for the fight had 
been of the hardest. So says Thormod Trefilson 
in his Raven-lay : 

The feeder of swans 

Of wound-wave, in Swanfirth 

The Ere-Dwellers. 1 23 

Made the erne full 
With feeding of wolfs' meat. 
There then let Snorri 
Of five men the life-days 
Cut off in sword-storm : 
Such way shall foes pay. 

Thorbrand had been at the fight, and busied 
himself with Aslak and Illugi in going between 
the fighters, and had urged them to seek peace. 
So he thanked them well for their aid, as well as 
Snorri the Priest for his avail. 

Snorri the Priest went home to Holy fell after 
the fight, and it was settled that Thorbrand 's sons 
should be turn and turn about at Holyfell and at 
home at Swanfirth till these affairs were ended, 
because there was yet the greatest ill-blood about, 
as was like to be, since no truce there was betwixt 
man and man as soon as men should be home 
from the fight. 


THAT summer, before the fight was in 
Swanfirth, a ship had come to Daymeal- 
ness, as is aforesaid. Now Steinthor of 
Ere had bought a ten-oarer at the ship ; but when 
he was to bring it home there fell on him a great 
gale from the west, and they drave east past Thors- 
ness, and landed at Thinghall-ness, and laid the 
keel up in Gruflunaust, and went thence afoot over 
the necks to Bank, and thence fared home in a boat ; 
but the ten-oarer he had not been able to go fetch 
through the autumn, so it lay still at Gruflunaust. 
But one morning' a little before Yule, Steinthor 

1 24 The Saga Library. 

rose early, and said that he would go fetch his 
craft that lay east at Thinghall-ness ; and there be- 
took them to faring with him his brothers Berg- 
thor and Thord Wall-eye, whose wound was by 
now pretty much healed, so that he was meet 
enow to carry weapons. Withal in Steinthor's 
company were two Eastmen, and they were eight 
in all. 

So they were ferried over the firth into Dairy- 
head, and they went afoot in towards Bank, and 
thence came Thormod, their brother, who made 
the ninth of them. Now the ice stretched from 
Templesteadwick right up to Much Bank, and they 
went up along the ice, and so over the neck to Sword- 
firth, which lay all under ice. Such is the way of 
it, that when the sea ebbs, it leaves it all dry, and 
the ice lies on the mud at the ebb ; but the skerries 
that were in the firth stood up above the ice, which 
was much broken about one of them, and the ice- 
floes sloped down steeply from the skerry. Loose 
snow withal had fallen on the ice, and very slippery 
it was thereon. 

Now Steinthor and his folk went to Thinghall- 
ness, and pushed out the boat from the boatstand, 
and took out of her both oars and deck, and laid 
them down on the ice, together with their clothes 
and the heaviest of their weapons. Then they 
dragged the craft in along the firth, and then west 
over the low neck to Templesteadwick, and right 
out to the edge of the ice ; and then went after 
their clothes and the other matters. But as they 
went back into Swordfirth, they saw six men going 
from the south from Thinghall-ness, who went a 

The Ere-Dwellers. 125 

great pace over the ice, and made for Holyfell, 
Then Steinthor and his men misdoubted them, th^t 
there would be going the sons of Thorbrand minded 
for the Yule-feast at Holyfell. Then Steinthor 
with his folk went swiftly out over the firth to the 
place where lay their clothes and weapons ; and 
so it was as Steinthor had deemed, and these men 
were the sons of Thorbrand. 

So when these beheld men running down the 
firth, they deemed they knew who they were, and 
thoueht the men of Ere were fain to meet them. 
So they fell to going at a great pace, and made for 
the skerry with the mind to make a stand there ; 
and in this wise each came nigh to meeting the 
other, yet the sons of Thorbrand reached the skerry 
first. But as Steinthor and his folk came forth 
past the skerry, Thorleif Kimbi let drive a spear 
against their flock, and it smote Bergthor, son of 
Thorlak, in the midst, and straightway was he put 
out of the fight Then he went away out on to 
the ice, and lay down, and Steinthor and his folk 
set on toward the skerry, but some went after their 
weapons. The sons of Thorbrand warded them- 
selves well and in manly wise, and a good fighting- 
stead they had there, because the floes sloped 
steeply from the skerry and were wondrous slippery; 
thus wounding went slowly betwixt men, before those 
came back who had gone to fetch the weapons. 

Steinthor and his men set on, six together, on 
the skerry, but the Eastmen went out on to the 
ice within bowshot, for they had bows, and there- 
with they shot against those on the skerry, and 
gave many a wound. 

T 26 The Saga Library. 

Thorleif Kimbi cried out when he saw Steinthor 
draw his sword : " White hilts dost thou still wield 
aloft, Steinthor," says he ; " but I wot not if thou 
raisest yet again a soft brand withal, as thou didst 
last autumn at Swanfirth." 

Steinthor answers : " Ah ! I will that thou prove 
ere we part whether I bear a soft brand or not." 

Now slow work was the winning of the skerry, 
but when they had been thereat a long while, 
Thord Wall-eye made a dash at it, and would 
thrust at Thorleif Kimbi with a spear, for he was 
ever the foremost of his men. The thrust smote 
the shield of Thorleif, but even as Thord Wall-eye 
laboured over the blow his feet failed him on the 
slippery floe, and he fell on his back and slipped 
headforemost down from the skerry. Thorleif 
Kimbi leapt after him to smite him dead before 
he could get to his feet again, and Freystein 
Rascal followed Thorleif, and he had shoe-spikes 
on his feet. Then Steinthor ran thereto, and cast 
his shield over Thord even as Thorleif fetched a 
blow at him, and with the other hand he smote at 
Thorleif Kimbi, and smote the leg from him 
below the knee ; and while that was a-doing 
Freystein Rascal thrust at Steinthor, aiming at 
his middle ; and when Steinthor saw that, he leapt 
up aloft, and the thrust went between his legs, and 
these three things, whereof we have told even now, 
he did in one and the same nick of time. Then he 
ran to Freystein, and smote him on the neck with 
his sword, and loud was the clatter of that stroke. 
So he cried withal : " Art smitten, Rascal ? " 

" Smitten forsooth," said Freystein, " but yet no 

The Ere-Dwellers. 1 27 

more than thou didst deem, for no wound have I 
therefrom. ' For in a hooded hat of felt was Frey- 
stein, with horn sewn into the neck thereof, and on 
that had the stroke fallen. 

Then Freystein Rascal turned back skerryward, 
but Steinthor bade him run not, since he had no 
wound, and Freystein turned him round on the 
skerry, and now they made at each other hard and 
fast. Steinthor was in great risk of falling, for 
the floe was both steep and slippery, but Freystein 
stood firm on his spiked shoes, and smote both 
hard and oft ; but such was the end of their deal- 
ings, that Steinthor brought his sword down on 
Freystein above his hips, and smote the man 
asunder in the midst. 

Then they went on to the skerry, and stayed 
not till all Thorbrand's sons were fallen. Then 
cried out Thord Wall-eye that they should go 
betwixt head and trunk of all the sons of Thor- 
brand, but Steinthor said he had no will to bear 
weapons on men who lay alow. 

So they came down from the skerry, and went 
to where Bergthor lay, who scarce had might to 
speak. So they brought him with them in over the 
ice, and so over the neck to the boat, and rowed 
in the boat out to Bank in the evening. 

Now a shepherd of Snorri's had been at Ox- 
brents that day, and saw thence the fight at Sword- 
firth. So he went home straightway, and told 
Snorri the Priest how there had been a meeting 
thatday atSwordfirth nowise friendly. So Snorri 
and his folk took their weapons, and went into the 
firth nine in company ; but when they came there, 

1 28 The Saga Library. 

Steinthor and his men had gone their ways and 
come aboard off the ice of the firth. 

Then Snorri looked to the wounded men, and 
there was none slain save Freystein Rascal, but 
they were all nigh wounded to death. 

Thorleif Kimbi cried out to Snorri, bidding go 
after Steinthor and his folk, and let no one of 
them escape. So Snorri the Priest went there 
whereas Bergthor had lain, and saw there great 
gouts of blood. Then he took up in his hand to- 
gether blood and snow, and crushed it up, and 
put it in his mouth, and asked who had bled there. 
And Thorleif said it was Bergthor who had bled. 
Then Snorri said it was life-blood. " Like enow," 
said Thorleif; "from a spear it came." 

" Methinks," says Snorri, "that is the blood of 
a doomed man ; so we will not follow after them." 

Then were Thorbrand's sons brought home to 
Holyfell and their wounds bound up. Thorod 
Thorbrandson had so great a wound in the back 
of his neck that he might not hold his head 
straight ; he had on hose-breeches withal, and they 
were all wet with blood. A home-man of Snorri 
the Priest was about pulling them off ; but when 
he fell to stripping them he could not get them off. 
Then he said : " No lie is that concerning you 
sons of Thorbrand, when folk say ye are showy 
men, whereas ye wear clothes so tight that they 
may not come off you." 

Thorod said : " Belike thou pullest slovenly." 
And therewith the home-man set his feet against the 
bed-stock and pulled with all his might, but yet gat 
them off none the more. 

The Ere- Dwellers. 1 29 

Then Snorri the Priest went thereto, and felt 
along his leg, and found a spear stuck through his 
leg between the hough sinew and the leg bone, 
that had nailed together the leg and the breeches. 
Then said Snorri that the thrall was a measureless 
fool not to have thought of such a thing. 

Snorri Thorbrandson was the briskest of those 
brothers, and he sat at table beside his, namesake 
that evening. Curds and cheese they had to meat, 
but Snorri noted that his namesake made but little 
play with the cheese, and asked why he eat so 

Snorri Thorbrandson answered that lambs found 
it the hardest to eat when they were first gagged. 

Then Snorri the Priest drew his hand down his 
throat, and found an arrow sticking athwart his 
gullet and the roots of the tongue. Then Snorri 
the Priest took drawing-tongs and pulled out the 
arrow, and then Snorri Thorbrandson fell to his 

Then Snorri the Priest healed all the sons ot 
Thorbrand. But when Thorod's neck grew to- 
gether his head sat somewhat drawn backwards on 
his trunk, and he said that Snorri would heal him 
into a maimed man. Snorri said that he deemed 
the head would come straight when the sinews 
were knit together; but Thorod would have 
nought but that the wound should be torn open 
again, and the head set straighten But all went 
as Snorri had guessed, and as soon as the sinews 
were knit together the head came right ; yet little 
might Thord lout ever after. Thorleif Kimbi 
thenceforth went mostly with wooden leg. 

II. K 

130 The Saga Library. 


NOW when Steinthor of Ere and his men 
came to the boatstand at Bank, there 
they put up their craft, and the brothers 
went home to their steading, and the body of 
Bergthor was covered over with a tilt for the 
night. It is told that goodwife Thorgerd would 
not go to bed that night to Thormod her hus- 
band. But even therewith a man came up from the 
boatstand and told how Bergthor was dead ; and 
when that was known she went to bed, nor is it said 
that any quarrel fell out betwixt them afterwards. 
Steinthor went home to Ere in the morning, and 
no more fighting there was thenceforth through 
the winter. But in the spring, whenas time wore 
on to the days of summoning, men of good will 
bethought them that things had got to a sad plight, 
inasmuch as those men were unappeased and at 
strife together, who were the greatest in the 
countryside. So the best men who were friends 
of either side so brought it about that it came to 
seeking for peace betwixt them. And Vermund 
the Slender was chief of these, and with him were 
many men of good will, such as were allied to one 
side or the other, and thereof it came afterwards 
that truce was settled and they were brought to 
peace, and most men tell that these cases fell 
under Vermund's dooming ; but he gave forth the 
award at the Thorsness Thing, and had with him 
the wisest men who were come there. 

Now it is told of the peace-making that the 

The Eve-Dwellers. 131 

slayings of men and onslaughts on either side 
were set off one against the other. The wound of 
Thord Wall-eye at Swanfirth was set against 
the wound of Thorod, son of Snorri the Priest. 
Against the wound of Mar Hallwardson and the 
stroke that Steinthor fetched at Snorri the Priest, 
were set the slayings of three men who fell in 
Swanfirth. The manslaughters which Stir made in 
either band were equalled ; but in Swordfirth the 
slaughter of Bergthor and the wounds of Thor- 
brand's sons were set one against the other. But 
the slaying of Freystein Rascal met the death of 
one of those unnamed above who fell in Swanfirth 
out of Steinthor's company. Thorleif Kimbi had 
atonement for his lost leg ; but the man who died 
out of Snorri's company in Swanfirth was set 
against the onset wherewith Thorleif Kimbi had 
set the fight agoing there. 

Then were the wounds of other men set against 
each other, and what was deemed to be left over 
was booted for duly, and so men parted from the 
Thing appeased. 

And that peace was well holden while Steinthor 
and Snorri were both alive. 


THAT same summer Thorod Scat-catcher 
bade Snorri his brother-in-law to a home- 
feast at Frodis-water, and Snorri went 
thither with eight men ; but while Snorri was at the 

132 The Saga Library. 

feast, Thorod complained to him that he deemed 
he had both shame and grief from the goings of 
Biorn Asbrandson, wherein he went to see his wife 
Thurid, the sister of Snorri the Priest, and said 
that it was Snorri's part to find rede for that 
trouble. So Snorri was at the feast certain nights, 
and Thorod led him away with seemly gifts. 
Snorri rode over the heath thence, and gave out 
that he would ride to the ship in Lavahaven- 
mouth ; and that was in summer at the time of 
mowing in the home-field. Now when he came 
south unto Combheath, then said Snorri : " Now 
shall we ride down from the heath unto Comb ; 
and I will have you to know," says he, " that I 
will make an onset on Biorn, and take his life if 
occasion may serve ; but not set on him in his 
house, because here are strong houses, and Biorn 
is brave and hardy, and we have but little strength. 
But hard have such great men as he is been to win 
in their houses, even when they were set on with 
more men ; as the case of Geir the Priest and 
Gizur the White shows well enow ; for with eighty 
men they fell on Gunnar of Lithend in his house 
when he was all alone, and some were hurt, and 
some slain, and they must needs draw off" till Geir 
the Priest by his cunning found that Gunnar's shot 
was spent. Now, therefore," says he, "if Biorn is 
without, as is like, since the day is dry and good, 
I will that thou, kinsman Mar, fall to work on 
Biorn, but take heed of this first, that he is no 
mannikin, and therefore a greedy wolf will have a 
gripe, whereas he is, if he get not such a wound 
at the first onset as Avill speedily work his bane." 

The Ere-Dwellers. 133 

So when they rode down from the heath to the 
stead, they saw that Biorn was without in the 
home-mead working on a wain, and no man by 
him, and without weapons, save a Httle axe and 
a. big whittle, with which he was widening the 
mortices of the wain ; the whittle was a span long 
from the haft down. 

Now Biorn saw how Snorri the Priest and his 
men rode down from the heath on to the mead, 
and straightway knew the men. Snorri the Priest 
was in a blue cape and rode first. 

Such hasty rede took Biorn that he caught up 
the knife and turned swiftly to meet them, and 
when he came up to Snorri he caught hold of the 
sleeve of his cape with one hand, and held the 
knife in the other, in such wise as it was handiest 
to thrust it into Snorri's breast if need should be. 

So Biorn hailed them when they met, and Snorri 
took his greeting ; but Mar let his hands fall, be- 
cause he deemed that Biorn looked like to do 
Snorri a mischief speedily if aught were done to 
break the peace against him. 

Then Biorn turned on the road with Snorri and 
his folk, and asked for the common tidings ; and 
still kept the hold he had got at the first. Then 
he fell to speech : " So it is, goodman Snorri, that 
I will not hide that I have played such a game 
with thee that ye may well hold me guilty, and it 
is told me that thy mind is heavy against me. 
Now best it is to my mind," says he, "if ye have 
any errand with me other than folk who go their 
ways hereby, that ye now show it forth ; but if that 
be not so, then will I that ye say yea to my asking 

134 ^'^^ Saga Library. 

for truce, and then will I turn back, because I will 
not be led about like a fool." 

"So lucky a hold thou hast of me in this our 
meeting," says Snorri, " that truce must thou have 
as at this time, whatever my mind was erst ; but 
this I pray thee, that thou keep thyself henceforth 
from the beguiling of Thurid, for the wound be- 
twixt us will not be healed if thou abidest as thou 
hast begun therein." 

Biorn answered : " That only will I promise thee 
which lies in my might ; nor do I wot if I have 
might enow for this, if Thurid and I are in one 
country together." 

Snorri answered : " Nought holds thee here so 
much as that thou may'st not well take up thine 
abode away from this countryside." 

Biorn answers : " True it is, even as thou say'st, 
and so shall it be, since thou thyself hast come to 
meet me thus ; and whereas our meeting has gone 
in such wise, I will promise thee that thou and 
Thorod shall have no more grief of heart from the 
meetings of me and Thurid for the next winters." 

" Then doest thou well," saith Snorri. 

Therewithal they parted, and Snorri rode to the 
ship and then home to Holyfell. Next day Biorn 
rode south to the ship at Lavahaven, and took a 
berth for himself there that summer. Somewhat 
late ready were they, and they fell in with a north- 
easter, which prevailed long that summer, and 
nought was heard of that ship for long after. 

The Ei'e-Dwellers. 135 



FTER the peace between the men of Ere 
and the Swanfirthers, Thorbrand's sons 
Snorri and Thorleif went out to Green- 
land. After Thorleif is called Kimbi's Bay in 
Greenland, betwixt the jokuls. So Thorleif lived 
to be old in Greenland, but Snorri went to Vine- 
land the Good with Karlsefni, and in battle with 
the Skraelings in Vineland there fell Snorri Thor- 
brandson, the bravest of men. 

Thorod Thorbrandson abode behind in Swan- 
firth, and had to wife Ragnhild, daughter of Thord, 
son of Thorgils the Eagle, who was the son of Hall- 
stein, the Priest of Hallstein-ness, the thrall-owner. 


NEXT it befell that Gizur the White and 
Hialltihis son-in-law came out to preach 
Christ's law; and all men in Iceland 
were christened, and the Christian faith was made 
law at the Althing. And Snorri the Priest brought 
it chiefly about with the Westfirthers that Christ's 
faith was taken of them ; and as soon as the Thing 
was over, Snorri let build a church at Holyfell, 
and Stir, his father in-law, another at Under-the- 
Lava. Now this whetted men much to the build- 
ing of churches, that it was promised them by the 
teachers, that a man should have welcome place 
for so many men in the kingdom of Heaven as 
might stand in any church that he let build. Thorod 

136 The Saga Library, 

Scat-catcher withal let make a church at his home- 
stead of Frodis-water, but priests could not be 
got for the serving at the churches, though they 
were built, for in those days but few mass-priests 
there were in Iceland. 


THE same summer that Christ's faith was 
made law in Iceland, a ship came from 
over the sea to Snowfell-ness, a keel of 
Dublin, whose folk were Erse and South-islanders, 
and a few Northmen. They lay off the Reef long 
through the summer, biding a wind to sail in over 
the firth to Daymeal-ness; so many men of the Ness 
went to chaffer with them. Now among her folk 
was a South-island woman named Thorgunna, and 
of her the shipmen told that she had such things 
among her faring-goods that the like of them 
would be hard to get in Iceland ; but when Thurid 
the goodwife of Frodis-water heard thereof, she 
became exceeding wishful to see those fair things, 
for she was very fain of glitter and show. So she 
fared to the ship and found Thorgunna, and asked 
her if she had any woman's attire, something out 
of the common way. She said that she had no 
goods for sale, but let out that she had certain fair 
things, which she might show without shame at 
feasts or other meetings of men. Thurid prayed 
to see her fair things, and she granted it to her ; 
and the wares seemed good to Thurid, and exceed- 
ing well shaped, but not beyond price. 

TJie Ere-Dwellers. 137 

Thurid offered to deal for the goods, but Thor- 
gunna would not sell them, so Thurid bade her 
come dwell with her, for she knew that Thorgunna 
was rich of raiment, and thought to get the goods 
at her leisure. 

Thorgunna answered : " I have good will to go 
dwell with thee, but I give you to know that I am 
loth to pay much for myself, because I am exceed- 
ing handy at work, and willing enough thereto ; 
but no wet work will I do ; and I myself too shall 
rule what I am to pay for myself from the wealth 
that I have." 

So Thorgunna talked it all over unyieldingly 
enough, but Thurid would that she should go 
thither none the less, and her goods were borne 
from the ship : a great locked ark and a light 
chest, and they were brought to the house at 

So when Thorgunna came there she prayed to 
have a bed, and a berth was given to her in the 
inward part of the hall. There she unlocked her 
ark, and drew thereout bed-clothes all excellently 

She covered over the bed with English sheets 
and a silken quilt, and took from the ark bed-cur- 
tains and all other bed-gear withal ; and so good an 
array that was, that men deemed that of such 
goods they had never seen the like. 

Then said goodwife Thurid : " Put a price for 
me on thy bed-gear." 

But Thorgunna answered : " Nay, I will not lie 
in straw for thee, courteous though thou be, and 
grand of array." 

138 The Saga Library. 

That misliked the goodwife, and never after 
did she bid for the goods. 

Thorgunna worked at the weaving day by day 
when no haymaking was, but when it was dry 
she worked at the saving of hay in the home-mead, 
and let make for herself a rake, which she alone 
must handle. 

Thorgunna was a woman great of growth, thick 
and tall, and right full of flesh ; dark-browed and 
narrow-eyed ; her hair dark-red and plenteous ; 
of exceeding good manners was she in her daily 
ways, and she went every day to church before she 
went about her work ; yet not easy of temper was 
she, or of many words in her daily conversation. 
Most men deemed that Thorgunna must have come 
into her sixth ten of years, yet was she the halest 
of women. 

In those days was Thorir Wooden-leg come to be 
harboured at Frodis-water, and Thorgrima Witch- 
face his wife with him, and things went somewhat 
ill betwixt her and Thorgunna. Kiartan the good- 
man's son was the one with whom Thorgunna 
would have most dealings, and she loved him much, 
yet was he cold to her, wherefore she was often 
cross-grained of mood. Kiartan wa? by then of 
thirteen or fourteen winters, and was both great of 
growth, and noble to look on. 

The Ere-Dwellers. 139 


THE summer was something wet, but nigh 
autumn befell good drying weather, 
and the haymaking at Frodis-water was 
by then come so far that all the home-mead was 
mown, and nigh half thereof was fully dry. Then 
befell a good drying day, calm and clear, so that 
no cloud was seen in the heavens. 

Goodman Thorod got up early in the morning 
and set folk awork, and some fell to carrying the 
hay, while others ricked it. But Thorod set the 
women to spreading it, and the work was shared 
betwixt them, and Thorgunna set to work at as 
much as a neat's winter-fodder. 

So the work went on well the day long, but 
when it had well-nigh worn three hours from noon, 
a black cloud-fleck came across the heaven from 
the north above Skor, and swiftly drew over the 
heavens, and thitherward straight over the stead. 
Folk deemed they saw rain in that cloud, and 
Thorod bade men rake up the hay. But Thor- 
gunna brought hers into ridges, nor would she 
fall to rake it up though she were so bidden. 

The cloud-fleck came up swiftly, and when it 
stood over the homestead of Frodis-water, there 
followed therewith so great a darkness, that men 
might not see out of the home-field, or scarce 
their hands before them. Then fell so great a 
rain from the cloud that all the hay that was 
spread was wetted ; but the cloud drew off swiftly 

140 The Saga Library. 

and the weather cleared. Then men saw that it 
had rained blood in that shower. But that even- 
ing good drying weather set in again, and the 
blood dried off all the hay but that which Thor- 
gunna had spread ; that dried not, or the rake 
either which she had handled. Thurid asked 
Thorgunna what she thought that wonder might 
forbode. She said that she wotted not. " But that 
seems to me most like," says she, " that it will be 
the weird of some one of those that are here." 

Thorgunna went home in the evening and into 
her berth, and put off her bloodied clothes, and 
then lay down in her bed and sighed heavily, and 
men deemed that she had fallen sick. 

Now that shower had come nowhere else but 
to Frodis-water. 

But Thorgunna might eat no meat that evening, 
but in the morning oroodman Thorod came to her 
and asked her what end she looked to have of her 
ailine- She said that she was minded to think 
that she would not fall sick again. 

Then she said : " I deem thee the wisest man 
of the homestead, therefore will I tell thee all my 
will as to what I would have made of the goods I 
leave behind me and of myself. For things will 
go," says she, " even as I say, though ye think 
there is little to be noted in me, and I deem it 
will avail but little to turn away from my behests ; 
for things have begun in such wise, that to no 
narrow ends deem I they will come, if strong stays 
be not raised thereagainst." 

Thorod answered and said : " Methinks there 
is no little likelihood that thou wilt have deemed 

The Ere-Dwellers. 141 

aright about this ; yet I will promise thee," says 
he, " to turn not from thy behests." 

Then said Thorgunna : " This would I have 
done : I would be borne to Skalaholt if I die of this 
sickness, because my mind tells me that that stead 
will be for one while the most worshipped stead 
in the land ; and I wot also," says she, " that there 
will be priests to do the singing over me ; so I 
pray thee to bring me there, and of my goods shalt 
thou have so much as that thou wilt have no loss 
thereby ; but from my undivided goods shall 
Thurid have the scarlet cloak that I own ; and 
this I do to the end that she may be content that 
I see to my other goods in such wise as I will ; 
but I will that thou take for the cost thou hast 
for me that which thou wilt, or that pleases her, 
from such things alone as I leave thereto. A gold 
ring I have which shall go to church with me, 
but I will that my bed and my bed-hangings be 
burned up with fire, for that they will be of no good 
to any man ; and I say this not because I grudge 
anyone to enjoy those good things, if I knew that 
they would be of good avail to any ; but now I 
say so much thereover," says she, " because I 
deem it ill that folk should have so much heavy 
trouble from me, as well I wot will be, if ye turn 
away from that which I now ordain." 

Thorod promised to do after her bidding ; and 
so the sickness grew on her after that, and Thor- 
gunna lay there not many days before she died. 

The corpse was first borne into the church 
there, and Thorod let make a chest for the corpse, 
and the next day he had the bed-gear borne out 

142 The Saga Library. 

into the air, and brought faggots together, and let 
pile up a bonfire there beside. Then goodwife 
Thurid went to him and asked what he was 
minded to do with the bed-gear. He said that he 
would burn it up with fire, even as Thorgunna had 

She answered : "It mislikes me that such 
precious things should be burned." 

Thorod said : " She spake much thereon, and 
how it would not do to turn aside from that she 
had laid down." 

Thurid said : " Such words were of nought but 
her envious mind ; she grudged that any should 
enjoy these, therefore did she lay such charge on 
thee ; but nought ill-omened will come of it, in 
whatsoever way such things are departed from." 

" I know not," said he, " that things will go well 
but if we do as she has bidden." 

Then Thurid put her arms round his neck, and 
prayed him not to burn the bed-gear, and pressed 
him so eagerly that he changed his mind ; and she 
brougfht matters about in such wise that Thorod 
burned the bolster and the mattress, but she took 
to her the quilt and sheets, and all the hangings ; 
and yet withal it misliked them both. 

Thereafter was the burial journey got ready, 
and trusty men got to go with the corpse, and good 
horses that Thorod owned. The body was swathed 
in linen, but not sewn up, and then laid in the 
chest. So then they went south over the heath as 
the road lies, and nought is told of their journey 
till they came south past Valbiorn's-vales. There 
they got amongst flows exceeding soft, and the 

The Ere-Dwellers. 143 

corpse was often upset. Then they went south to 
Northwater, and crossed it by Isleford. Deep 
was the river, and a storm befell with much rain ; 
but they came at last to a stead that was within 
Staffholts-tongue and is called Nether-ness, and 
there asked for guesting, but the bonder would 
^iv^ them no cheer ; so whereas the night was at 
hand, they deemed they might go no further, for 
belike it was nought easy to deal with Whitewater 
by night ; so they unloaded their horses, and bore 
the corpse into a house over against the outer door, 
and then went into the hall and did off their 
clothes, and deemed they would abide there unfed 
that night. But the home-men went to bed by day- 
light, and when they were abed, they heard a great 
clatter in the buttery, and so they went to see 
what was toward, if perchance thieves had not 
broken in there, and when they came to the but- 
tery there was to behold a tall woman, naked, with 
nothing on her, busied at bringing out victuals. 
So when they saw her, they were so afeard they 
durst go nowhere anigh. 

But when the corpse-bearers knew thereof they 
went there, and saw what was toward, that thither 
was Thorgunna come, and good it seemed to all 
not to meddle with her. So when she had wrought 
such things there as she would, she bore meat into 
the hall, and laid the table and set out meat 
thereon. Then spake the corpse-bearers to the 
bonder : " Maybe things will end so or ever we 
part that thou wilt deem that thou hast paid dear 
enough for not giving us any cheer." 

Then said the goodman and goodwife : " We 

144 ^^^ Saga Library. 

will surely give you meat, and do for you all other 
things that ye may need." 

And forthwith, when the goodman had bidden 
them good cheer, Thorgunna went out of the hall 
and out adoors, and was not seen after. And 
after that, light was brought into the hall, and the 
wet clothes pulled off from the guests and dry 
clothes got them in their stead, and they went to 
table and crossed the meat, while the goodman had 
all the house besprinkled with holy water. 

So the guests eat the meat, and none had harm 
therefrom, though Thorgunna had set it out. 

There they slept through the night, and were 
in a most hospitable place belike ; but in the 
morning they got them ready for their journey, 
and right well it sped with them ; but wheresoever 
these haps were known, there it seemed best rede 
to most folk to give them all the cheer they stood 
in need of. 

So after this nought befell to tell of in their 
journey. And when they came to Skalaholt, the 
good things were yielded up which Thorgunna 
had given thereto, and the priests took them, corpse 
and all, gladly enow, and there was Thorgunna 
laid in earth, but the corpse-bearers fared home, 
and all went well with their journey, and they all 
came home in o-ood case. 

The Eve-Dwellers. 145 


/4 T Frodis-water was there a great fire-hall, 

/ \ and lock-beds in therefrom, as the wont 
A. V^ then was. Out from the hall there were 
two butteries, one on either hand, with stock-fish 
stored in one, and meal in the other. There were 
meal-fires made every evening in the fire-hall, as 
the wont was, and men mostly sat thereby or 
ever they went to meat. 

Now that same night that the corpse-bearers 
came home, as men sat by the meal-fires at Frodis- 
water, they saw how by the panelling of the 
house-wall was come a half-moon, and all might 
see it who were in the house ; and it went backward 
and withershins round about the house, nor did it 
vanish away while folk sat by the fires. So Thorod 
asked Thorir Wooden-leg what that might bode. 

Thorir said it was the Moon of Weird, " and 
the deaths of men will follow thereafter," says he. 

So a whole week this thing endured, that the 
Moon of Weird came in there evenino- after 



THIS happed next to tell of at Frodis- 
water, that the shepherd came in exceed- 
ing hushed. Little he said, and what he 
said was peevish ; so men deemed it most like 
that he was bewitched, for he fared in distraught 

II. L 

146 The Saga Library. 

wise, and was ever talking to himself; and so things 
went on awhile. 

But when two weeks of winter were worn, the 
shepherd came home on a night, and went straight 
to his bed and lay down, and in the morning when 
men came to him he was dead. So he was buried 
at the church there. 

A little after that great hauntings befell ; and 
on a night as Thorir Wooden-leg went out for his 
needs, and turned off aside from the door, when 
he would go in again, he saw how the shepherd was 
come before the door. Then would he go in again, 
but the shepherd would nowise have it so ; and 
Thorir was fain to get away, but the shepherd 
went at him, and got hold of him, and cast him 
homeward up against the door. At this he was 
affrighted exceedingly ; yet he got him to his bed, 
and he was by then grown coal-blue all over. 

Now from this he fell sick and died, and was 
buried there at the church ; but ever after were 
the twain, the shepherd and Thorir Wooden-leg, 
seen in company, and therefrom were folk full of 
dread, as was like to be. 

After Thorir's death a house-carle of Thorod fell 
sick, and lay there three nights or ever he died. 
Then one after another died, till six were dead ; 
and by then it was hard on the Yule-fast, though 
at that time there was no fasting in Iceland, 

Now the pile of stock-fish was so heaped up in 
the buttery that it filled it up, so that the door 
might not be opened, and it went right up to the 
tie-beam, and a ladder was needed to get the 
stock-fish from the top. 

The Ere-Dwellers. 147 

So one evening when men sat by the meal- 
fires, they heard how the stock-fish was being 
riven out of its skin, but when men looked thereto, 
they found there nought quick. But in the winter 
a little before Yule, goodman Thorod went out to 
Ness after his stock-fish. They were six together 
in a ten-oarer, and were out there night-long. 

The same evening that Thorod went from home, 
it fell out at Frodis-water, when the meal-fires 
were lighted and men came gathering into the hall, 
that they saw how a seal's head came up through 
the floor of the fire-hall. A certain home-woman 
came forth first and saw that hap, and caught up 
a club that lay in the doorway, and drave it at the 
seal's head ; but it rose up under the blow, and 
glared up at Thorgunna's bed-gear. 

Then went a house-carle thereto, and beat on the 
seal, but at every blow it kept rising till it was up 
as far as below the flappers. Then fell the house- 
carle swooning, and all that were thereby were ful- 
filled of mighty dread. 

Then the swain Kiartan ran thereto, and took 
up a great sledge-hammer and smote on the seal's 
head, and great was that blow, but the seal only 
shook its head and looked round about; but 
Kiartan smote one blow on another till the seal 
sank down therewith, as if he were at the knocking 
down of a peg ; but he smote on till the seal went 
down so far that he might beat down the floor over 
the head of him. And so indeed it fell out the winter 
through, that all the portents dreaded Kiartan the 
most of all. 

148 The Saga Library. 


THE morning that Thorod and his men 
went out westaway from Ness, they were 
all lostoff Enni; the ship and the fish drave 
ashore there under Enni, but the corpses were not 
found. But when this news was known at Frodis- 
water, Kiartan and Thurid bade their neighbours 
to the arvale, and their Yule ale was taken and 
used for the arvale. But the first evening whenas 
men were at the feast, and were come to their 
seats, in came goodman Thorod and his fellows 
into the hall, all of them dripping wet. Men gave 
good welcome to Thorod, for a good portent was 
it deemed, since folk held it for sooth that those 
men should have good cheer of Ran if they, who 
had been drowned at sea, came to their own burial- 
ale ; for in those days little of the olden lore was 
cast aside, though men were baptized and were 
Christian by name. 

Now Thorod and his company went down the 
endlong sitting-hall, which was double-doored, and 
went into the fire-hall, and took no man's greeting, 
and set them down by the fire. Then the home- 
men fled away from the fire-hall, but Thorod and his 
folk sat behind there till the fires slaked, and then 
gat them gone. And thus it befell every evening 
while the arvale lasted, that they came to the fire. 
Much talk was hereover at the arvale, and some 
guessed that it would leave ofi" when the feast was 
over. The guests went home after the feast, and 
somewhat dreary was that household left. 

The Ere- Dwellers. 149 

Now the evening that the guests went away 
were the meal-fires made as wont was. But when 
they burned up, in came Thorod and his company 
all dripping wet, and they sat down by the fire and 
fell to wringing their raiment. And so when they 
were sat down, in came Thorir Wooden-leg and his 
six followers, and they were all be-moulded, and 
they shook their raiment and cast the mould at 
Thorod and his folk. 

Then the home-men fled away from the fire- 
hall, as might be looked for, and had neither light 
nor warm stones nor any matter wherewith they 
had any avail of the fire. 

But the evening next after were fires made in 
another chamber, and it was deemed that they 
would be less likely to come thither, but it fell not 
out so, and all went in the same way as the night 
before, and both companies came to the fires. The 
third evening Kiartan gave counsel to make a 
long fire in the fire-hall, and meal-fires in another 
chamber. So was it done, and this availed thus 
much, that Thorod and his folk sat by the long 
fire and the home-men by the little fire ; and so 
things went till over Yuletide. 

Now it befell that more and more were things 
going on in the stock-fish heap, and night and day 
men might hear how the stock-fish was torn. And 
after this the time came when need was of stock- 
fish, and men went to search the heap ; and the 
man who went up thereon saw this to tell of, that 
up from the heap came a great tail as big as a 
singed neat's tail, and it was short-haired and 
seal-haired ; he who went up on to the heap 

1 50 The Saga Library. 

caught at the tail and tugged, and called on other 
men to come help him. So folk fared up on to the 
heap, both men and women, and tugged at the 
tail, and got nought done, and they thought none 
otherwise than that the tail was dead ; but lo, as 
they pulled, the tail drew down through their 
hands, so that the skin came off the palms of those 
who had the firmest hold thereon, and nought was 
known afterwards of that tail. 

Then was the stock-fish heap taken down, and 
every fish therein was found torn from the skin, so 
that there was no fish found in his skin in the 
lower part of the heap ; but nought quick was 
found therein. 

After these haps Thorgrima Witch-face, the 
wife of Thorir Wooden-leg, fell sick and lay but a 
little while or she died, and the very same evening 
that she was buried, she was seen in the company 
of Thorir her husband. Then the sickness fell 
on folk anew after the tail was seen, and more 
women than men died ; and yet six men died in 
that brunt. But some fled before those hauntings 
and ghosts. At harvest-tide there had been thirty 
serving-folk there, but eighteen were dead, and 
five fled away, and but seven were left behind at 


NOW when those wonders had gone so far, 
one day Kiartan went east unto Holyfell 
to go see Snorri the Priest, his mother's 
brother, and asked rede of him what he should do 

The Eye-Dwellers. 151 

in the matter of those wonders that had fallen on 
them. At that time was come to Holyfell the 
priest that Gizur the White had sent to Snorri the 
Priest. So Snorri sent the priest out to Frodis- 
water with Kiartan, as well as his son Thord 
Kausi, and six men more. Thereto he added the 
counsel to burn Thorgunna's bed-gear, and sum- 
mon all those who walked, to a door-doom ; and 
he bade the priest sing the hours there, and hallow 
water and shrive all folk. So these summoned 
men from the nighest steads on the road, and came 
to Frodis-water on the eve of Candlemas at such 
time as the meal-fires were lighted. 

By then had goodwife Thurid fallen sick even 
in such wise as those who had died. 

Now Kiartan went in straightway and saw how 
Thorod and his folk sat by the fire as their wont 
was. So he took down Thorgunna's bed-gear, 
and went into the fire-hall, and caught up brands 
from the fire, and went out therewith, and then was 
all the bed-array burned that Thorgunna had 

Thereafter Kiartan summoned Thorir Wooden- 
leg, and Thord Kausi summoned goodman 
Thorod, in that they went about that household 
without leave, and despoiled men both of life and 
luck ; all were summoned who sat by the fires. 

Then was a door-doom named, and these cases 
put forward ; and it was done in all matters even 
as at a doom of the Thing : verdicts were de- 
livered, cases summed up, and doom given. 

But as soon as the sentence on Thorir Wooden- 
leg was given out, he arose and said : " Here 

152 Tlie Saga Library. 

have I sat while sit I might ; " and thereafter he 
went out by the door before which the court was 
not set. 

Then was the sentence on the shepherd passed. 
But when he heard it he stood up and said : " Go 
I now hencefrom ; I ween erst it had more seemly 

And when Thorgrima Witch-face heard the 
doom on her ended, she also arose and said : 
" Here while abiding was meet I abode." 

Then they charged one after the other, and each 
arose as the sentence fell on him, and all said 
somewhat at their going forth ; but ever it seemed 
by the words of each that they were all loth to 
depart. At last was judgment given on goodman 
Thorod, and when he heard it he stood up and 
said : " Meseems little peace is here ; so get us all 
gone otherwhere ; " and therewith he went out. 

Then in walked Kiartan and his folk, and the 
priest bare hallowed water and the holy things 
throughout the house, and on the next day they 
sang all the hours and mass with great solem- 
nity, and so there was an end thereafter to all 
walkings and hauntings at Frodis-water. But 
Thurid got better of her sickness so that she was 

In the spring after these wonders Kiartan took 
to him serving-folk, and dwelt long after at Frodis- 
water, and was the greatest of the doughty. 

The Ere-Dwellers. 153 


SNORRI the Priest dwelt at Holyfell eight 
winters after Christ's faith was made law 
in Iceland. The last winter he dwelt 
there was the one wherein his father-in-law 
Stir was slain at lorvi in Flisa-wharf. Then 
Snorri the Priest went south thither after the 
corpse ; and he went against Stir in the women's 
bower at Horseholt, whenas he was sitting up- 
right and was holding the bonder's daughter by 
the middle. 

That spring Snorri changed lands with Gudrun 
Osvif's daughter, and brought his household to 
Tongue in Sselings-dale ; that was two winters 
after the slaying of Bolli Thorleikson, Gudrun's 

The same spring Snorri went south to Burgfirth 
with four hundred men to follow up the suit for 
the slaying of Stir. In his company was Vermund 
the Slender, the brother of Stir, who dwelt as then 
at Waterfirth ; Steinthor of Ere withal, and Thorod 
Thorbrandson of Swanfirth ; Thorleik Brandson 
of Crossness, the brother's son of Stir, also, and 
many other men of worth. 

The furthest south they came was to White- 
water at Howeford over against By. There they 
found before them, south of the river, Illugi the 
Black, Kleppiarn the Old, Thorstein Gislison, 
Gunnlaug the Wormtongue, Thorstein Thorgil- 
son of Hafsfirthisle, who had to wife Vigdis, the 
daughter of Illugi the Black ; and many other 

154 The Saga Library. 

men of account were there, with a band of more 
than five hundred men. 

So Snorri the Priest and his folk might nowise 
ride south over the river, but set forth the suit 
when they had gone the furthest they might 
without risk, and Snorri summoned Guest for the 
slaying of Stir. 

But this same suit Thorstein Gislison brought 
to nought for Snorri the Priest in the summer at 
the Althing. 

The same summer Snorri the Priest rode south 
to Burgfirth, and took the life of Thorstein Gislison 
and Gunnar his son ; and still was Steinthor of 
Ere with him, and Thorod Thorbrandson, and 
Brand Hoskuldson, and Thorleik Brandson, and 
they were fifteen in all. 

The next spring they met at the Thing of 
Thorsness, Snorri the Priest to wit, and Thorstein 
of Hafsfirthisle, the son-in-law of Illugi the Black. 
Thorstein was the son of Thorgils, the son of 
Thorfinn, the son of Seal-Thorir of Redmel, but 
his mother was Aud, the daughter of Alf-a-dales ; 
but Thorstein was the cousin of Thorgils Arison 
of Reek-knolls, and Thorgeir Havarson, and 
Thorgils Hallason, and Bitter-Oddi, and those 
Swanfirthers, Thorleif Kimbi and the other sons 
of Thorbrand. 

Thorstein had at that time set on foot many 
cases for the Thorsness Thing. So one day on the 
Thing-brent, Snorri the Priest asked if Thorstein 
had set on foot many suits for the Thing. Thor- 
stein answered that he had set on foot certain 

TJte Ere-Dwellers. 155 

Then said Snorri : " Now belike wilt thou that 
we further thy cases for thee, even as ye Burg- 
firthers furthered ours last spring." 

Thorstein said : " I nowise long for this." 

But when Snorri had so spoken, his sons and 
many other kinsmen of Stir laid heavy words 
thereto, and said that it would serve Thorstein 
right well, if every one of his suits there should 
come to an end as it now stood, and said it was 
right meet that he himself should now pay for that 
shame which he and Illugi his father-in-law had 
done to them the past summer. 

Thorstein answered few words thereto, and men 
went therewith from the Thing-brent. However, 
Thorstein and his kin, the men of Redmel, had 
brought together a great company, and when men 
should go to the courts, Thorstein got ready to 
push forward all these suits of his which he had 
set on foot for the courts to adjudge. But when 
the kin of Stir and folk allied to him knew that, 
they armed themselves, and went betwixt the 
courts, and the Redmel-folk as they would go to 
the courts, and a fight befell betwixt them. 

Thorstein of Hafsfirthisle would pay no heed to 
aught but making for the place whereas Snorri 
the Priest was. Both big and stark was Thorstein, 
and a deft man-at-arms, but when he fell fiercely 
on Snorri, Kiartanof Frodis-water, Snorri's sister's 
son, ran before him, and Thorstein and he fought 
long together, and their weapon-play was exceed- 
ing hard-fought. 

But thereafter friends of both sides came thither, 
and went between them, and brought about truce. 

156 The Saga Library. 

After the battle spake Snorri to Kiartan his 
kinsman, and said : " Well wentest thou forth to- 
day, Broadwicking ! " 

Kiartan answered somewhat wrathfully : " No 
need to throw my kin in my teeth," said he. 

In this fight fell seven of Thorstein's men, but 
many were wounded on either side. 

These matters were settled straightly at the 
Thing, and Snorri the Priest was the more gene- 
rous in all peace-makings, because he would not 
that these matters should come to the Althing, 
whereas the slaughter of Thorstein Gislison was 
yet unatoned for ; and it seemed to him that he 
would have full enough to answer to at the 
Althing, though this were not brought against him. 
About all these things, the slaying of Thorstein 
Gislison, and Gunnar his son, and also about the 
battle at the Thorsness Thing, thus sings Thormod 
Trefilson in the Raven-song : 

Again now the great-heart, 
The Rhine-fires waster, 
Slew two men in spear-storm 
South over the water. 
Thereafter lay seven 
Life-bereft on the Ness 
Of the bane of the troll-wives. 
Thereof are there tokens. 

Such settlement of peace was struck, that Thor- 
stein should freely forward all the cases at the 
Thorsness Thine which he had laid thither. But 
in the summer at the Althing was peace made for 
the slaying of Thorstein Gislison and Gunnar his 

The Ere-Dwellers. 157 

All who had been at the slaying with Snorri 
the Priest g-ot them o-one abroad out of the 

That summer Thorstein of Hafsfirthisle took 
the Priesthood of the Redmel-folk out of the 
Thorsness Thing-, because it seemed to him he 
had waned in might there before the folk of 
Snorri. So these kinsmen set up a Thing in 
Streamfirth, and held it for long after. 


WHEN AS Snorri the Priest had dwelt 
a few winters at Sselings-dale-Tongue, 
there dwelt a man at Ere in Bitter 
called Uspak. He was a married man, and 
had a son called Glum, who was young in those 
days. Uspak was the son of Kiallak of Kiallak's- 
river of Skridinsenni. Uspak was the biggest 
and strongest of men ; he was unloved and the 
most unjust of men, and had with him seven or 
eight carles who were much in the way of picking 
quarrels with men in those northern parts ; they 
had ever a ship off the land, and took from every 
man his goods and his drifts as it seemed them 

A man called Alf the Little dwelt at Thambar- 
dale in Bitter. He had wealth enow, and was the 
greatest of men in his housekeeping ; he was a 
Thingman of Snorri the Priest, and had the ward 
of his drifts round Gudlaugs-head. Alf, too, 
deemed himself to feel cold from Uspak and his 

158 The Saga Library. 

men, and made plaint thereof to Snorri the Priest 
whensoever they met. 

Thorir, son of Gullhard, dwelt at Tongue in 
Bitter in those days. He was a friend of Sturla 
Thiodrekson, who was called Slaying-Sturla, who 
dwelt at Stead-knoll in Saurby. Thorir was a 
rich bonder, and a foremost man among those of 
Bitter, and had withal the wardship of Sturla's 
drifts there in the north. Full oft was grey silver in 
the fire betwixt Thorir and Uspak, and now one 
now the other came off best. 

Uspak was the foremost man there about Cross- 
water-dale and Enni. 

One winter the hard weather came on early, and 
straightway was there earth-ban about Bitter, 
whereof men had great loss of live-stock ; but 
some drave their beasts south over the heath. 

The summer before had Uspak let build a work 
at his stead of Ere, a wondrous good fighting-stead, 
if men were therein for defence. 

In the winter at Goi came on a great snow- 
storm and held on for a week ; a great northern 
gale it was. But when the storm abated, men saw 
that the ice from the main was come thither all 
over the outer firth, but no ice was as then come 
into Bitter, so men went to scan their foreshores. 

Now it is to be told, that out betwixt Stika and 
Gudlaugs-head was a great whale driven ashore ; 
in that whale Snorri the Priest and Sturla Thiod- 
rekson had the greatest share ; but Alf the Little 
and more bonders yet had certain shares in it also. 
So men from all Bitter go thither and cut up the 
whale under the ordering of Thorir and Alf. 

The Ere- Dwellers, 1 59 

But as men were at the cutting they saw a craft 
come rowing- from the other side of the firth from 
Ere, and knew it for a great twelve-oarer that 
Uspak owned. 

Now these landed by the whale and went up 
there, fifteen men all-armed in company ; and 
when Uspak came aland he went to the whale and 
asked who had the rule thereover. Thorir said 
that he was over the share that Sturla had, but 
Alf over his share and that of Snorri the Priest ; 
and that of the other bonders each saw to his own 
share. Uspak asked what they would hand over to 
him of the whale. Thorir answers : " Nought will 
I give thee of the portion that I deal with ; but I 
wot not but that the bonders will sell thee of that 
which they own. What wilt thou pay there- 

" Thou knowest, Thorir," said Uspak, " that I 
am not wont to buy whale of you men of Bitter." 

" Well," said Thorir, " I am minded to think 
that thou gettest none without price." 

Now such of the whale as was cut lay in a heap, 
and was not yet apportioned out ; so Uspak bid his 
men go thereto and bear it down to his keel ; and 
those who were at the whale had but few weapons 
except the axes wherewith they were cutting it up. 
But when Thorir saw that Uspak and his folk went 
at the whale, he called out to the men not to let 
themselves be robbed. Then they ran to the other 
side of the heap, and those about the uncut whale 
ran therefrom, and Thorir was the swiftest of 

Uspak turned to meet him and fetched a blow at 

i6o The Saga Library. 

him with his axe-hammer, and smote him on the 
ear so that he fell swooning ; but those who were 
nighest caught hold of him and dragged him 
to them, and stood over him while he lay in 
the swoon, but then was the whale not guarded. 

Then came up Alf the Little and bade them not 
take the whale. Uspak answered : " Come not 
nigh, Alf; thin is thy skull and heavy my axe, and 
far worse than Thorir shalt thou fare, if thou makest 
one step further forward." 

This wholesome counsel thus taught him Alf 
followed. Uspak and his folk bore the whale 
down to their keel, and had got it done or ever 
Thorir woke up. But when he knew what had 
betid, he blamed his men that they had done 
slothfully in standing by him while some were 
robbed and some beaten ; and therewith he sprang 
up. But Uspak had by then got his keel afloat, and 
they thrust off from the land. Then they rowed west 
over the firth to Ere, and Uspak let none go from 
him who had been in this journey ; but there they 
had their abode and got matters ready in the 

Thorir and his folk shared the whale, and let 
the loss of that which was taken fall equally on all, 
even according- to the share which each man 
owned in the whale, and thereafter all went 

And now full great enmity there was betwixt 
Thorir and Uspak, but whereas Uspak had a 
many men, the booty was soon on the wane. 

The Ere-Dwellers. i6i 


NOW on a night Uspak and his men went 
into Thambardale fifteen in company, 
and set on the house of Alf the Little, 
and drove him and all his men into the hall while 
they robbed there, and bore thence four horseloads 
of goods. 

From Firth-horn men had gotten ware of their 
goings, and therefore was a man sent to Tongue 
to tell Thorir. Thorir gathered men, and he was 
eighteen strong, and they went down to the firth- 
bottom. Then Thorir saw where Uspak and his 
men had passed him, and went east on the other 
side of Firth-horn ; and when Uspak saw the 
chase, he said : 

" Men are coming after us, and there will Thorir 
be going," says he; "and now will he be minded 
to pay me back for my blow wherewith I smote 
him last winter. They are eighteen, but we fifteen, 
yet better arrayed. Now it will not be easy to see 
which of us will be fainest of blows ; but those 
horses which we have taken from Thambardale 
will be fain of home, yet never will I let that be 
taken from me which we have laid hands on ; so 
two of us who are the worst armed shall drive the 
laden horses before us out to Ere, and let those 
men who are at home come to meet us ; but we 
thirteen will withstand these men even as we may." 

So they did as Uspak bade. But when Thorir 
came up, Uspak greeted him, and asked for tidings, 
and was soft-spoken, that so he might delay Thorir 

n. M 

1 62 The Saga Library, 

and his folk. Thorir asked whence they had those 
goods. Uspak says: "From Thambardale." 

" How earnest thou thereby ?" says Thorir. 

Says Uspak : " They were neither given, nor 
paid, nor sold at a price." 

" Will ye let them go, and give them into our 
hands ? " said Thorir. 

Uspak said he could not bring himself to that, 
and therewith they ran each at each, and a fight 
befell ; and Thorir and his men were of the eagerest, 
but Uspak and his folk defended themselves well 
and manly, yet some were wounded, and some 

Thorir had a bear-bill in his hand, and therewith 
he ran at Uspak and smote at him, but Uspak put 
the thrust from him, and whereas Thorir had 
thrown all his might into the blow, and there was 
nought before the bill, he fell on his knees and 
louted forward. Then Uspak smote Thorir on the 
back with his axe, and loud rang the stroke ; and 
Uspak said : " That shall stay thy long journeys, 
Thorir," says he. 

"Maybe," says Thorir; "yet methinks a full 
day's journey may I go for all thee and that stroke 
of thine." 

For Thorir had a chain-knife round his neck, as 
the fashion then was, and had cast it aback behind 
him, and the blow had come thereon, and he had 
but been scratched in the muscles on either side of 
his spine, and little enough withal. 

Then ran up a fellow of Thorir's and smote at 
Uspak, but he thrust forth his axe, and the blow 
took the shaft thereof and struck it asunder, and 

The Ere-Dwellers. 163 

down fell the axe. Then cried out Uspak, and 
bade his men flee away, and himself fell to run- 
ning ; but as soon as Thorir arose, he cast his 
bill at Uspak and smote him on the thigh, and 
cut through it on the outer side of the bone. 
Uspak drew the bill from the wound and cast it 
back, and it smote the man in the midst who had 
erst cut at Uspak, and down he fell dead to the 

Thereafter away ran Uspak and his following, 
and Thorir and his company chased them out 
along the foreshores well-nigh to Ere. Then 
came folk from the homestead, both men and 
women, and Thorir and his folk turned back. 

And no more onslaughts were made on either 
side thenceforth through the winter. 

At that meeting fell three of Uspak's men and 
one of Thorir's, but many were wounded on either 


SNORRI the Priest took up all the cases of 
Alf the Little at the hands of Uspak and 
his men, and made all those guilty at 
the Thorsness Thing ; and after the Thing he 
went home to Tongue, and sat at home until the 
time came for the court of forfeiture to sit ; and 
then he went north to Bitter with a great com- 
pany. But when he came there, then was Uspak 
gone with all his ; and they had gone north to the 
Strands fifteen in company, and had five keels. 

164 The Saga Library. 

They were at the Strands through the summer, 
and did there many unpeaceful deeds. 

They set them down north in Wrackfirth, and 
gathered men to them, and thither came he who 
is called Raven and was bynamed the Viking. 
He was nought but an ill-doer, and had lain out 
north about the Strands. There they wrought 
great warfare with robbing and slaying of men, 
and held all together till towards winter- nights. 

Then gathered together the Strand-men, Olaf 
Eyvindson of Drangar, and other bonders with 
him, and fell on them. They had there a work 
once more about their stead in Wrackfirth, and 
were well-nigh thirty in company. Olaf and 
his folk sat down before the work, and hard to 
deal with they deemed it to be. So both sides 
talked together, and the evil-doers offered to get 
them gone from the Strands, and do no more un- 
peaceful deeds there henceforth, while the others 
should depart from before the work ; and whereas 
they deemed it nowise an easy play to have to do 
with them, they took that choice, and both sides 
bound themselves by oath to this settlement, and 
the bonders fared home withal. 


NOW is it to be told of Snorri the Priest 
that he went to the court of forfeiture 
north in Bitter, as is written afore, but 
when he came to Ere, then was Uspak gone. So 
Snorri held the court of forfeiture there according 

The Eve-Dwellers. 165 

to law, and laid hands on all the forfeit goods, and 
divided them betwixt those men as had had the 
most ill deeds done them, Alf the Little to wit, 
and the other men who had had harm from rob- 
beries. Thereafter Snorri the Priest rode home to 
Tongue, and so wore the summer. 

Now Uspak and his men went from the Strands 
about the beginning of winter-nights, and had two 
big boats. They went in past the Strands, and then 
south across the bay to Waterness. There they 
went up and robbed, and loaded both the boats up 
to the gunwale, and then stretched north away over 
the bay into Bitter and landed at Ere, and bore 
their spoil up into the work. There had Uspak's 
wife and his son Glum abode the summer through, 
with but two cows. Now on the very same night 
that they came home, they rowed both the boats 
down to the firth-bottom, and went up to the farm 
at Tongue, and broke into the house there, and 
took goodman Thorir from his bed, and led him 
out and slew him. Then they robbed all the goods 
that were stored there within doors, and brought 
them to the boats, and then rowed to Thambar- 
dale, and ran up and brake open the doors there, 
as at Tongue. 

Alf the Little had lain down in his clothes, and 
when he heard the door broken open, he ran out 
to the secret door that was at the back of the 
house, and went out therethrough and ran up the 
dale. But Uspak and his folk robbed all they 
might lay hands upon, and brought it to their 
boats, and then went home to Ere with both boats 
laden, and brought both the liftings into the 

1 66 The Saga Library. 

work. They brought the boats into the work 
withal, and filled them both with water, and then 
closed the work, and the best of fighting-steads it 
was. So thereafter they sat there the winter 


ALF the Little ran till he came to Tongue 
to Snorri the Priest, and told him of his 
troubles, and egged him on hard to go 
north against Uspak and his folk. But Snorri the 
Priest would first hear from the north what more 
they had done than driving Alf from the north, 
or whether they meant to have a settled abode 
there in Bitter. A little after came tidings from 
Bitter in the north of the slaying of Thorir and the 
array which Uspak had there, and it was heard 
tell of men that they would not be easily won. 

Then Snorri the Priest let fetch Alf's household 
and such goods as were left behind, and all those 
matters came to Tongue and were there the winter 
long. Snorri's unfriends laid blame on him, in that 
he was held by folk slow to set Alf's matters right. 
Snorri let them say what they would about it, and 
still was nought done. 

Now Sturla Thiodrekson sent word from the 
west that he would straightway get ready to set 
on Uspak and his company as soon as Snorri 
would, and said that it was no less due of him than 
of Snorri to go that journey. The winter wore on 
till past Yule, and ever were ill deeds of Uspak 

The Ere-Dwellers. 167 

and his company heard of from the north! The 
winter was hard, and all the firths were under ice. 

But a little before Lent, Snorri the Priest sent 
out to Ness to Ingiald's-knoll, where dwelt a man 
called Thrand the Strider, and was the son of 
that Ingiald by whom the homestead is named 
at Ingiald's-knoll. Thrand was the biggest and 
strongest of men, and the swiftest of foot. He 
had been before with Snorri the Priest, and was 
said to be not of one shape whiles he was heathen ; 
but the devilhood fell off from most men when 
they were christened. 

Now Snorri sent word to Thrand, bidding him 
come thither to Tongue to meet him, and to get 
ready his journey in such guise as though he was 
to have certain trials of manhood on his hands. 
So when Thrand got Snorri's word he said to the 
messenger : " Thou shalt rest thyself here such 
time as thou wilt, but I will go at Snorri's message, 
so we may not journey together." 

The messenger said that would be known when 
it was tried. But in the morning when the man 
awoke, lo, Thrand was clean gone. He had taken 
his weapons and gone east under Enni, and so as 
the road lay to Bulands-head, and then east across 
the firths to the stead called Eidi. There he took 
to the ice and went over Coalpit-firth and Selia- 
firth, and thence into Swordfirth, and so in over 
the ice right to the firth-end, and to Tongue in 
the evening, whenas Snorri was set down and at 

Snorri welcomed him lovingly, and Thrand took 
his greeting and asked what he would of him, and 

1 68 The Saga Library. 

said he was ready to go whither he would, if 
Snorri had will to set him about somewhat. Snorri 
bade him abide in peace through the night, and 
Thrand's wet clothes were pulled off him. 


TH E same nightSnorri the Priest sent a man 
west to Stead-knolls to Sturla Thiodrek- 
son, and bade him come meet him at Tongue 
north in Bitter the next day. Withal Snorri sent 
to the farmsteads thereabout, and summoned men 
to him, and then they went north over Gablefell- 
heath with fifty men, and came to Tongue in 
Bitter in the evening, and there was Sturla abiding 
them with thirty men. 

They fared thence out to Ere in the night-tide, 
and when they were come there, Uspak and his 
folk went on to the wall of the work, and asked 
who ruled that company. They told him, and 
bade him give up the work, but Uspak said he 
would nowise yield it up. 

" But we will give you the same choice that we 
gave to the men of the Strands," said he, " that 
we will get us gone from the countryside, and ye 
shall depart from our castle." 

Then Snorri bade him offer no more of such 
guileful choices. 

But the next day, as soon as it was light, they 
apportioned out the work amongst them for onset, 
and Snorri the Priest got that part of the work 
that Raven the Viking guarded, and Sturla the 

The Ere-Dwellers. 169 

guard of Uspak ; the sons of Bork the Thick, Sam 
and Thormod, fell on at one side, but Thorod and 
Thorstein Codbiter, the sons of Snorri the Priest, 
on the other. 

Of weapons that they could bring to bear, Uspak 
and his folk had for the most part stones for their 
defence, and they cast them forth against their 
foes unsparingly; for those in the work were of 
the briskest. 

The men of Snorri and Sturla dealt chiefly with 
shot, both shafts and spears ; and they had got 
together great plenty thereof, because that they 
had long been getting ready for the winning of 
the work. 

So the onset was of the fiercest, and many were 
wounded on either side, but none slain. Snorri 
and his folk shot so thick and fast, that Raven 
with his men gave back from the wall. Then 
Thrand the Strider made a run at the wall, and 
leaped up so high that he got his axe hooked over 
the same, and therewith he drew himself up by the 
axe-shaft till he came up on to the work. But 
whenas Raven saw that a man had got on to the 
work, he ran at Thrand, and thrust at him with a 
spear, but Thrand put the thrust from him, and 
smote Raven on the arm close by the shoulder, 
and struck off the arm. After that many men 
came on him, and he let himself fall down outside 
the wall, and so came to his own folk. 

Uspak egged on his men to stand stoutly, and 
fought himself in right manly wise ; and when he 
cast stones he would go right out on the wall. 

But at last whenas he was putting himself very 

1 70 The Saga Library. 

forward and casting a stone at Sturla's company, 
at that very nick of time Sturla shot a twirl-spear 
at him, which smote him in the midst, and down 
he fell outside of the work. Sturla straightway 
ran to him, and took him to himself, and would 
not that more men should be at the slaying of 
him, because he was fain that there should be but 
one tale to tell of his having been the banesman 
of Uspak. Another man fell on that same wall 
where the sons of Bork fell on. 

Thereon the Vikings offered to give up the 
work, life and limb saved, and therewithal that 
they would lay all their case under the doom of 
Snorri the Priest and Sturla. 

So whereas Snorri and his men had pretty much 
spent their shot, they said yea to this. So the 
work was given up, and those within rendered 
themselves to Snorri the Priest, and he gave them 
all peace of life and limb, even as they had claimed. 
Both Uspak and Raven died forthwith, and a 
third man withal of their company, but many were 
wounded on either side. So says Thormod in 
the Raven-song : 

Fight fell there in Bitter ; 

The maker of stir meseems 

For the choughs of the war-maidens 

Brought home the quarry. 

Three leaders of sea-wain 

Lay life-void before him, 

The fanner of fight-pith. 

There Raven gat resting. 

Snorri the Priest let Uspak's widow and Glum 
their son dwell there still at Ere. Glum after- 

The Ere- Dwellers. 1 7 1 

wards had to wife Thordis, daughter of Asmund 
the Long-hoary, sister of Grettir the Strong ; and 
their son was Uspak, who strove with Odd 
Ufeigson in Midfirth. So Snorri the Priest and 
Sturla scattered the Vikings each his own way, 
and made a clean sweep of that evil company, and 
then went home. 

Thrand the Strider abode a little while with 
Snorri the Priest before he fared home out to 
Ingiald's-knoll, and Snorri thanked him well for 
his good following. 

Thrand dwelt long afterwards at Ingiald's- 
knoll, and thereafter at Thrandstead, and was a 
mighty man of his hands. 


IN those days dwelt Thorod Thorbrandson in 
Swanfirth, and had the lands both of Ulfar's- 
fell and of Orligstead ; but to such a pass 
had come the haunting of Thorolf Halt-foot, that 
men deemed they might not abide on those lands. 
Lairstead withal was voided, because Thorolf 
straightway took to walking as soon as Arnkel 
was dead, and slew both men and beasts there at 
Lairstead ; nor has any man had a heart to dwell 
there, by reason of these things. 

Then when all things were waste there. Halt- 
foot betook himself to Ulfar's-fell, and wrought 
great trouble there, and all folk were full of dread 
as soon as they were ware of H alt- foot's walking. At 

1 72 The Saga Library. 

last the bonder fared in to Karstead, and bemoaned 
himself of that trouble to Thorod, because he was 
tenant of him, and he said that it was the fear of 
men that Halt-foot would not leave off before he 
had wasted all the firth both of man and beast, 
" and if no rede is tried I can no longer abide 
there, if nought be done herein." 

But when Thorod heard that, he deemed the 
matter ill to deal with. But the next morning he 
let bring his horse, and called his house-carles to 
him, and gathered men to him from the nighest 
steads withal ; and then they fare out to Halt- 
foot's-head, and come to Thorolf's howe ; and he 
was even yet unrotten, and as like to a fiend 
as like could be, blue as hell, and big as a 
neat ; and when they went about the raising 
of him, they could in nowise stir him. So Thorod 
let set lever-beams under him, and thereby they 
brought him up from the howe, and rolled him 
down to the seaside, and cut there a great bale, 
and set fire to it, and rolled Thorolf thereinto, and 
burned all up to cold coals ; yet long it was or 
ever the fire would take on him. There was a 
stiff breeze, which scattered the ashes wide about 
as soon as the bale began to burn ; but such of the 
ashes as they might, they cast out seaward ; and 
so when they had made an end of the business 
they went home. 

Now it was the time of the night-meal whenas 
Thorod came home, and the women were at the 
milking ; but as Thorod rode by the milking-stead 
a certain cow started from before him, and brake 
her leg. Then was she felt, but was found so 


The Ere-Dwellers. 173 

meagre that it was not deemed good to slaughter 
her ; so Thorod let bind up her leg ; but she be- 
came utterly dry. 

So when the cow's leg was whole again, she 
was brought out to Ulfar's-fell to fatten, because 
there the pasture was good, as it might be in an 

Now the cow went often down to the strand and 
the place whereas the bale had been litten, and 
licked the stones on which the ashes thereof had 
been driven ; and some men say, that whenas the 
island-men went along the firth with lading of stock- 
fish, they saw there the cow up on the hillside, 
and another neat with her, dapple-grey of hide, of 
which neat no man knew how it might be there. 

So in the autumn Thorod was minded to 
slaughter the cow, but when men went after her, 
she was nowhere to be found. Thorod sent after 
her often that autumn, but found her not, and men 
deemed no otherwise than that the cow was dead 
or stolen away. 

But a little short of Yule, early on a morning at 
Karstead, as the herdsman went to the byre 
according to his wont, he saw a neat before the 
byre-door, and knew that thither was come the 
broken-legged cow which had been missing. So 
he led the cow into the boose and bound her, and 
then told Thorod. Thorod went to the byre and 
saw the cow, and laid his hand on her, and now 
finds that she is with calf, and thinks good not 
to kill her ; and withal he had by then done all 
the slaughtering for his household whereof need 

1 74 The Saga Library. 

But in the spring, when summer was a little 
worn, the cow bore a calf, a cow-calf, and then a 
little after another which was a bull, and it went 
hardly with her, so big he was, and in a little 
while the cow died. So this same big calf was 
borne into the hall ; dapple-grey of hue he was and 
right goodly. 

Now whenas both the calves were in the hall, 
this one and that first born, there was therein 
withal an ancient carline, Thorod's foster-mother, 
who was as then blind. She was deemed to have 
been foreseeing in her earlier days, but as she 
grew old, all she said was taken for doting ; 
nevertheless, things went pretty much according 
to her words. 

So as the big calf was bound upon the floor, he 
cried out on high, and when the carline heard that, 
she started sorely, and spoke : " The voice of a 
troll," quoth she, "and of nought else alive; do 
the best ye can and slay this boder of woe straight- 

Thorod said he would nowise slay the calf ; for 
that it was well worthy to be nourished, and that 
it would turn out a noble beast if it were brought 
up ; therewith the calf cried out yet again. 

Then spake the carline, all a-flutter : " Fair 
foster-son," says she, " prithee kill the calf, for ill 
shall we have of him if he be brought up." 

So he answers : "Well, I will kill him if thou 
wilt have it so, foster-mother." 

Then were both the calves borne out, and Thorod 
let kill the cow-calf, and bear the other out to the 
barn, and withal he bade folk take heed that the 

The Ere- Dwellers. 175 

carline was not told that the bull-calf was yet 

Now this calf grew greater day by day, so that in 
spring when the calves were let out, he was no less 
than those which had been born in the early winter. 
He ran about the home-mead bellowing loudly 
when he was let out, even as a bull might, so that 
he was heard clearly in the house. Then said the 
carline : " Ah, the troll was not slain then, and we 
shall have more harm of him than words can tell." 

The calf waxed speedily, and went about the 
home-mead the summer long, and by autumn-tide 
was so big, that few yearling neats were equal 
to him ; well horned he was, and the fairest of all 
neat to look on, and he was called Glossy. When 
he was two years old, he was as big as a five-year- 
old ox, and he was ever at home with the cows; 
and when Thorod went to the milking-stead, Glossy 
would go to him and sniff at him and lick his 
clothes all about, and Thorod would pat and stroke 
him. He was as tame both to man and beast as a 
sheep, but ever when he bellowed he gave forth a 
great and hideous voice, and when the carline heard, 
she started sorely thereat. When Glossy was four 
winters old, he would not be driven by women, 
children, or young men ; and if the carles went up 
to him, he would rear up, and go on in perilous wise, 
and yet would give way before them if hard pressed. 

Now on a day Glossy came home to the byre 
and bellowed wondrous loud, so that he was heard 
as clearly in the house as though he were hard 
thereby. Thorod was in the hall and the carline 
by him, who sighed heavily and said : 

176 The Saga Library. 

" Of no account dost thou hold my word con- 
cerning the slaughtering of the bull, foster-son." 

Thorod answered : " Be content, foster-mother," 
says he ; " Glossy shall live on till autumn, and 
then be slaughtered, when he has got the summer's 
flesh on him." 

" Over-late will it be then," says she. 

" That is a hard matter to tell," says Thorod. 

But as they spake, again the bull gave forth 
a voice, bellowing yet worse than before. Then 
sang the carline this song : 

O shaker of snow on the hair's hall that shineth, 

Forth out of his head is the herd-leader sending 

A voice and a crying that bodeth us blood ; 

And the life-days of men now his might overlayeth. 

He who shaketh the green-sward will teach thee the heeding 

Of the place where thine earth-gash for thee is a-gaping. 

O foster-son mine, now full clearly I see it. 

That the horned beast in fetters is laying thy life. 

Thorod answered : " Thou growest doting, 
foster-mother, and this shalt thou never behold." 
She sang again : 

This gold-bearing hill is full often accounted 

But mad when she waggeth her tongue amongst men. 

Let it be then ! Yet surely the corpse do I see 

All bloody, with tears of the wounds all bedabbled. 

Let be ! but this bull shall thy bane be, O Thorod ! 

For e'en now on folk he beginneth to turn 

Full madly. The Goddess of gold that goes clanging. 

This thing she foreseeth, e'en this and no other. 

" Nay, nay, never shall it be so," says he. 
" Woe worth the while ! that ever so it shall be," 
says the carline. 

Now it befell in the summer that Thorod had let 

The Ere-Dwellers, 177 

rake all the hay of the home-mead into big cocks, 
and thereafter came on a heavy rain, and the next 
morning, when men came out, they saw that Glossy 
was come into the field, and the bar was off his 
horns which had been fitted to them when he fell 
to growing cross-grained. He had lost his old wont, 
whereby he would never harm the hay, how much 
soever he went in the home-mead ; for now he 
kept running at the haycocks, and he thrust his 
horns at the bottom of one after the other, and 
hove them up, and scattered them in such wise 
about the mead ; and when one was broken down, 
he straightway set on another, and so he fared 
bellowing over the meadow, and went on roaring- 
mad; and men stood in so great dread of him, 
that they durst not go and drive him from the 

Then it was told Thorod what Glossy was 
about, and he ran out straightway ; and a heap of 
wood lay by the door, wherefrom he caught up a 
great birch-rafter, and cast it aloft on to his 
shoulder, so that he had hold of the fork of it, and 
ran down the meadow at the bull ; but when 
Glossy saw Thorod, he took his stand and turned 
to meet him. 

Then Thorod rated him, but he gave back no 
whit the more for that. So Thorod hove up the 
rafter and smote him betwixt the horns so great a 
stroke, that the rafter flew asunder at the fork ; but 
at the blow Glossy so changed his mood, that 
he ran at Thorod ; but he gat hold of his horns 
and turned him aside from him ; and so it went on 
awhile, that Glossy set on Thorod, but Thorod 

II. N 

1 78 The Saga Library. 

gave ever back and turned the beast away, now to 
this side, now to that, until at last Thorod began to 
be mithered ; then he leapt up on to the neck of the 
bull, and clasped him round under the throat, and 
lay along on his head betwixt the horns, and was 
minded in such wise to weary him ; but the bull 
ran to and fro over the meadow with him. 

Then saw Thorod's home-men how matters 
went hopelessly betwixt them, but they durst not 
come thereto weaponless, so they went in after their 
weapons ; and when they came out, they ran down 
into the meadow with spears and other weapons, 
and whenas the bull beheld that, he thrust his head 
down betwixt his feet, and shook himself withal, 
so that he got one horn under Thorod, and then 
afterwards he tossed up his head so hard, that 
Thorod flew feet up, so that he well-nigh stood 
with his head on the bull's neck, and as he swept 
down. Glossy set his head under him, so that one 
horn went into his belly and stood deep in. Then 
Thorod let loose the hold of his hands, and the 
beast set up a mighty bellow, and ran along the 
meadow down to the river ; and Thorod's home- 
folk ran after Glossy and chased him athwart the 
scree called Geirvor, and right away till they came 
to a certain fen, down before the stead at Hella. 
There sprang the bull out unto the fen, and the end 
of it all was, that he never came up again ; and that 
place is since called Glossy's-well. 

But when the home-folk were come back to the 
meadow, lo ! Thorod had gone thence afoot. He 
had gone home to the house, and by then they 
came therein, he had lain down in his bed, and 

The Ere- Dwellers, 179 

there he lay dead ; and so he was carried to the 
church withal, and was buried. 

Kar, the son of Thorod, took the stead in Swan- 
firth after his father, and he dwelt there long after- 
wards, and from him is the stead called Karstead. 


THERE was a man named Gudleif, the son 
of Gunnlaug the Wealthy of Streamfirth, 
the brother of Thorfin, from whom are 
come the Sturlungs. Gudleif was much of a sea- 
farer, and he owned a big ship of burden, and 
Thorolf, the son of Loft-o'-th'-Ere, owned another, 
whenas they fought with Gyrd, son of Earl Sig- 
valdi ; at which fight Gyrd lost his eye. 

But late in the days of King Olaf the Holy, 
Gudleif went a merchant voyage west to Dublin, 
and when he sailed from the west he was minded 
for Iceland, and he sailed round Ireland by the 
west, and fell in with gales from east and north-east, 
and so drove a long way west into the main and 
south-westward withal, so that they saw nought of 
land ; by then was the summer pretty far spent, 
and therefore they made many vows, that they 
might escape from out the main. 

But so it befell at last that they were ware 
of land ; a great land it was, but they knew nought 
what land. Then such rede took Gudleif and his 
crew, that they should sail unto land, for they 
thought it ill to have to do any more with the 
main sea ; and so then they got them good haven. 

i8o The Saga Library, 

And when they had been there a little while, 
men came to meet them whereof none knew aught, 
though they deemed somewhat that they spake in 
the Erse tongue. At last they came in such 
throngs that they made many hundreds, and they 
laid hands on them all, and bound them, and drove 
them up into the country, and they were brought 
to a certain mote and were doomed thereat. And 
this they came to know, that some would that they 
should be slain, and othersome that they should 
be allotted to the countryfolk, and be their slaves. 

And so, while these matters are in debate, they 
see a company of men come riding, and a banner 
borne over the company, and it seemed to them that 
there should be some great man amongst these ; 
and so as that company drew nigh, they saw under 
the banner a man riding, big and like a great chief 
of aspect, but much stricken in years, and hoary 
withal ; and all they who were there before, wor- 
shipped that man, and greeted him as their lord, 
and they soon found that all counsels and awards 
were brouofht whereas he was. 

So this man sent for Gudleif and his folk, and 
whenas they came before him, he spake to them in 
the tongue of the Northmen, andasked them whence 
of lands they were. They said that they were Ice- 
landers for the more part. So the man asked who 
the Icelanders might be. 

Then Gudleif stood forth before the man, and 
greeted him in worthy wise, and he took his greeting 
well, and asked whence of Iceland he was. And he 
told him, of Burgfirth. Then asked he whence 
of Burgfirth he was, and Gudleif told him. After 

The Eve-Dwellers. 1 8 1 

that he asked him closely concerning each and 
all of the mightiest men of Burgfirth and Broad- 
firth, and amidst this speech he asked concerning 
Snorri the Priest, and his sister Thurid of Frodis- 
water, and most of all of the youngling Kiartan, 
who in those days was gotten to be goodman of 

But now meanwhile the folk of that land were 
crying out in another place that some counsel 
should be taken concerning the ship's crew ; so 
the big man went away from them, and called to 
him by name twelve of his own men, and they sat 
talking a long while, and thereafter went to the 

Then the big man said to Gudleif and his folk : 
" We people of the country have talked your matter 
over somewhat, and they have given the whole 
thing up to my ruling ; and I for my part will give 
you leave to go your ways whithersoever ye will ; 
and though ye may well deem that the summer 
wears late now, yet will I counsel you to get you 
gone hence, for here dwelleth a folk untrusty and 
ill to deal with, and they deem their laws to be 
already broken of you." 

Gudleif says : " What shall we say concerning 
this, if it befall us to come back to the land of our 
kin, as to who has given us our freedom ? " 

He answered : " That will I not tell you ; for I 
should be ill-content that any of my kin or my 
foster-brethren should make such a voyage hither 
as ye would have made, had I not been here for 
your avail ; and now withal," says he, " my days 
have come so far, that on any day it may be looked 

1 82 The Saga Library. 

for that eld shall stride over my head ; yea, and 
though I live yet awhile, yet are there here men 
mightier than I, who will have little will to give 
peace to outland men ; albeit they be not abiding 
nearby whereas ye have now come." 

Then this man let make their ship ready for sea 
and abode with them till the wind was fair for 
sailing ; and or ever he and Gudleif parted, he 
drew a gold ring from off his arm, and gave it into 
Gudleif s hand, and therewithal a good sword, and 
then spake to Gudleif : " If it befall thee to come 
back to thy fosterland, then shalt thou deliver this 
sword to that Kiartan, the goodman at Frodis- 
water; but the ring to Thurid his mother." 

Then said Gudleif : " And what shall we say con- 
cerning the sender of these good things to them ? " 

He answered : '' Say that he sends them who 
was a greater friend of the goodwife of Frodis- 
water than of the Priest of Holyfell, her brother; 
but and if any shall deem that they know thereby 
who owned these fair things, tell them this my word 
withal, that I forbid one and all to go seek me, for 
this land lacks all peace, unless to such as it may 
befall to come aland in such lucky wise as ye have 
done ; the land also is wide, and harbours are ill to 
find therein, and in all places trouble and war await 
outland men, unless it befall them as it has now 
befallen you." 

Thereafter they parted. Gudleif and his men 
put to sea, and made Ireland late in the autumn, 
and abode in Dublin through the winter. But the 
next summer Gudleif sailed to Iceland, and de- 
livered the goodly gifts there, and all men held it 

The Ere-Dwellers. 1 83 

for true that this must have been Biorn the Broad- 
wick Champion; but no other true token have men 
thereof other than these even now told. 


SNORRI the Priest dwelt at Tongue for 
twenty winters, and at first had a power 
there somewhat begrudged, while those 
brawlers were alive, Thorstein Kuggison to wit, 
and Thorgils the son of Halla, besides other of the 
greater men who bore him ill-will. Withal he cometh 
into many stories, and of him the tale also telleth in 
the story of the Laxdale men, as is well known to 
many ; whereas he was the greatest friend of 
Gudrun, the daughter of Osvif, and of her sons. 
He also hath to do with the story of the Heath- 
slaughters, and most of all men, next indeed to 
Gudmund the Rich, lent aid to Bardi after the man- 
slay ings on the Heath. 

But as he grew older, ill-will against him began 
to wane, chiefly by reason of those who bore him 
envy growing fewer. His friendships were greatly 
bettered by his knitting alliances with the greatest 
chiefs in Broadfirth and wide about elsewhere. 

He married his daughter Sigrid to Brand the 
Bounteous, the son of Vermund the Slender ; 
Kolli, the son of Thormod, the son of Thorlak, the 
brother of Steinthor of Ere, had her to wife there- 
after ; and they, Kolli and Sigrid, had house in 

His daughter Unn he married to Slaying-Bardi ; 

1S4 Tlie Saga Library, 

Sigurd, the son of Thorir Hound of Birch-isle in 
Halogaland, had her to wife afterwards, and their 
daughter was Ranveig, whom Jon, the son of 
Arni, the son of Arni, the son of Arnmod, had to 
wife; their son was Vidkunn of Birch-isle, whilome 
one of the foremost among the barons of Nor- 

His daughter Thordis, Snorri married to Bolli, 
son of Bolli, and from them is sprung the race of 
the Gilsbeckings. 

His daughter Hallbera, Snorri married to Thord, 
the son of Sturla Thiodrekson, whose daughter 
was Thurid, the wife of Haflidi Marson, and from 
them a mighty kindred has sprung. 

Thora his daughter, Snorri married to Keru- 
Bersi, the son of Haldor, the son of Olaf of Herd- 
holt ; Thorgrim the Burner afterwards had her to 
wife, and from them a great and a noble kin has 

The other daughters of Snorri were married 
after his death. Thurid the Wise, the daughter of 
Snorri, Gunnlaug, the son of Steinthor of Ere, had 
for wife ; but Gudrun, the daughter of Snorri the 
Priest, was wedded to Kalf of Sunhome. Thorgeir 
of Asgarths-knolls married Haldora, Snorri's 
daughter. Alof, Snorri's daughter, Jorund Thor- 
finnson had to wife ; he was brother to Gudlaug of 

Haldor, the son of Snorri the Priest, was the 
noblest of his sons ; he kept house in Herdholt in 
Laxdale. From him are come the Sturlungs and 
the Waterfirth folk. 

The second noblest son of Snorri the Priest was 

The Ere- Dwellers. 185 

Thorod, who abode at Spaewife's-fell in Skaga- 

Mani, the son of Snorri, dwelt at Sheepfell ; his 
son was Liot, who was called Mana-Liot and was 
accounted of as the greatest among the grandsons 
of Snorri the Priest. 

Thorstein, the son of Snorri, dwelt at Bathbrent, 
and from him are sprung the Asbirnings in Skaga- 
fiord, and a great stock withal. 

Thord Kausi, Snorri's son, dwelt in Dufgusdale. 

Eyolf, the son of Snorri, dwelt at Lambstead on 
the Mires. 

Thorleif, the son of Snorri the Priest, dwelt on 
Midfell-strand ; from him are sprung the men of 

Snorri, the son of Snorri the Priest, dwelt in 
Tongue after his father. 

Klepp was hight a son of Snorri whose abiding- 
place men wot nought of, nor know men any tales 
to tell of him, 

Snorri died in Sselings-dale-Tongue one winter 
after the fall of King Olaf the Holy. He was 
buried at the church he let rear at Tongue ; 
but at the time the church was moved, his bones 
were taken up and brought down to the place 
whereas the church now is ; and a witness thereat 
was Gudny, Bodvar's daughter, the mother of those 
sons of Sturla : Snorri, Thord, and Sighvat, to wit ; 
and she said that they were bones of a man of middle 
height, and not right big. At that same time were 
also taken out of earth the bones of Bork the 
Thick, the father's brother of Snorri the Priest ; and 
she said that they were mighty big. Then, too, 

1 86 The Saga Library. 

were dug out the bones of the carhne Thordis, the 
daughter of Thorbiorn Sur, the mother of Snorri 
the Priest ; and Gudny said that they were small 
bones of a woman, and as black as if they had been 

All these bones were burled again in earth where 
the church is now. And herewith endeth the 
Story of the Thorsnessings, the Ere-Dwellers 





From Cod. A. M. 445", 4to. Printed in Eyrbyggjasaga, ed. 
G. Vigfiisson, Leipzig, 1864, pp. 125-26. 

SNORRI the Priest had nineteen children 
freeborn who got over the days of child- 
hood. Thord Kausi was the eldest, the 
second was Thorod, the third Thorstein, the fourth 
Gudlaug the monk. 

These were sons of Asdis, the daughter of 

The fifth child of Snorri was Sigrid, the sixth 
Unn ; they were daughters of Thurid, the daughter 
of Illugi the Red. 

The seventh child was Klepp, the eighth Hal- 
dora, the ninth Thordis, the tenth Gudrun, the 
eleventh Haldor, the twelfth Mani, the thirteenth 
Eyolf, the fourteenth Thora, the fifteenth Hallbera, 
the sixteenth Thurid, the seventeenth Thorleif, the 
eighteenth Alof, the nineteenth Snorri, who was 
born after the death of his father. 

These were the children of Halfrid, the daughter 
of Einar. 

Snorri the Priest had three children born of 
bondwomen: a second Thord Kausi, Jorund, and 

1 90 The Saga Library. 

Snorri the Priest was fourteen winters old when 
he went abroad, where he tarried one winter. But 
the next winter after his coming back he spent at 
Holyfell with Bork the Thick, his father's brother, 
and with Thordis his mother. That autumn Eyolf 
the Gray, son of Thord the Yeller, slew Gisli 
Surson, and in the spring following, when he was 
sixteen winters old, Snorri set up house at Holy- 
fell, and abode there twenty and three winters or 
ever Christ's faith was made law in the land ; but 
after that he abode eight winters at Holyfell; and 
in the last of those winters Thorgest, son of Thor- 
hall, slew Slaying-Stir, the father-in-law of Snorri 
the Priest, at lorvi in Flisa-wharf. 

Thereafter he flitted his household to Saelings- 
dale-Tongue, and abode there for twenty winters. 
He had builded a church at Holyfell, and another 
at Tongue in Saelings-dale, and some folk say that 
a second time he had a church reared at Holyfell 
in fellowship with Gudrun, Osvif 's daughter, when 
that church was burnt down which he himself had 
erst set up there. He died of sickness in the seventh 
winter of the seventh ten of his age, and that was 
one winter after the fall of King Olaf the Holy, 
and was buried there at his home of Saelings-dale- 
Tongue, at the church which he had had reared 
there himself. Much blessed in a mighty and 
great offspring he has now become, in that most 
of the noblest men in the land trace their line of 
kinship up to him, beside the Birch-islanders in 
Halogaland, the " Beards" of Gata in Faroe, and 
many other great folk, both in this and in other 
lands, whereof the tale is not told here. 

Of Slaying-Stir. 191 



BEFORE putting before the reader our 
translation of this good and ancient Saga, 
we think it well to give a very brief ab- 
stract of part of the story of Slaying-Stir, or rather 
of the substance of that part, as given from memory 
after the destruction of the MS., an account of 
which will be found in the preface to this volume. 
We only give so much even of this abstract as is 
necessary to the understanding of the events told 
of in the Heath-slayings. 

Slaying-Stir, the father-in-law of Snorri the 
Priest, was a violent and very masterful and unjust 
man. " Though he slew many men, he booted 
none." Amongst other high-handed deeds he 
makes an enemy of one Thorhall of lorvi, and 
treats him so ill, that he makes up his mind to flee 
the country-side at a time when he thinks Stir is 
away at the Thing. But Stir misdoubts the matter, 
waylays Thorhall, and slays him after a stout re- 

Thorhall left two children behind him, a girl, 
and a lad named Guest, the latter deemed some- 
what of a weakling. He lives on with goodman 
Thorleik, who took the house of lorvi after his 
father's death, and is brought up there. Some 

192 The Saga Library. 

time after Slaylng-Stir comes to guest at Thor- 
leik's house where Guest is. Thorleik speaks for 
his fosterhng to Stir, and craves some atonement 
for the slaying of Guest's father. Stir insults the 
lad grievously by the offer of a mocking atone- 
ment, much as Thorbiorn Thiodrekson does to 
old Howard. 

Guest watches his opportunity and slays Stir in 
Thorleik's hall, and escapes. 

He then takes refuge with his friends in Burg- 
firth, who, and especially Thorstein Gislison of 
By, harbour him, Thorstein at last sending him 
out to Norway, whence he goes to Constantinople, 
thrives there, and never comes back to Iceland. 

Snorri the Priest takes up the blood-feud after 
Stir, and marches on the Burgfirthers who had 
harboured Guest, intending to take legal vengeance 
on them, since Guest had escaped him. 

The Burgfirthers meet him in arms, and he is 
foiled at first ; but afterwards going with a small 
band, and secretly, he slays Thorstein Gislison and 
his son Gunnar. One Kolskegg is a foremost man 
in this slaying ; he, with others who were helping 
at it, goes to Norway. There certain kinsmen of 
Thorstein, the sons of Harek, find out that he is 
in the same town with them, and aim at killing 
him and lifting his goods. Kolskegg seeks help of 
an Icelander, called Hall, the son of Gudmund, a 
noble and generous man, who gives him a ship 
and goods, wherewith he escapes to England. 

It must be understood that this Hall has had 
nothing to do with the feud between Snorri and 
the Burgfirthers ; nevertheless, at this point begins 

The Heaths layings' Story. 193 

the story of the Heath-slay ings. Hall, being now- 
unshipped, takes berth for Iceland with a man 
named Thorgils. The sons of Harek find out that 
Hall has taken their foe out of their power, and 
fix the feud on Hall, just as Snorri did on Thor- 
stein Gislison ; they entrap him on an island off 
the coast of Norway, where he and his shipmates 
had gone aland, and slay him. The shipmaster, 
Thorgils, brings all Hall's belongings to Iceland,but 
keeps this slaying hidden till the Thing of the next 
summer. There he tells of it, and Bardi, the second 
son of Gudmund (and henceforth the hero of the 
story), offers his brother's goods to Thorgils, and 
hardly can get him to take half of them. 

Old Gudmund (the father) goes home from the 
Thing, so heavy-hearted at the death of his son, 
that he dies in a month's time. Hall was looked 
upon as far the best of Gudmund's sons, and Bardi 
seems to have been accounted of little worth. 

It is told, that in the autumn after the Thing 
above-mentioned, Bardi sat down in the seat of 
his dead brother ; whereon his mother fetches him 
a clout on the head, and bids him be off, and not 
to dare sit in Hall's seat while he is yet un- 

However, on Bardi lies the burden of the blood- 
feud. But once more, as in the earlier case, 
the slayers themselves are out of his reach ; for 
the sons of Harek, shortly after they had slain 
Hall, were cast away and drowned. Therefore it 
is to the Burgfirthers, their kindred, that Bardi 
must turn for atonement for his brother ; and the 
feud that follows takes the shape of something 

II o 

1 94 The Saga Library. 

like a war between the Burgfirthers, the southern 
men, and the men of the north. 

Bardi takes counsel of one Thorarin, a wise and 
foreseeing man, who dwelt at Lechmote in Wil- 
lowdale, and was Bardi's foster-father, Thorarin 
advises him to ask weregild of Harek on behalf 
of his sons at the next Althing, and warns him to 
be moderate and forbearing. Bardi follows his 
counsel, but Harek, being old, and having handed 
all his own goods over to his heirs, says he cannot 
pay, and turns him off on to his kindred. Bardi 
goes home quietly, sees Thorarin, who bids 
him claim atonement again peacefully as before ; 
but he gets no further with his claim, but is well 
spoken of by all the Mote for his mild conduct of 
his case. 

The third summer Bardi goes once more to 
Thorarin, before he rides to the Thing ; he bids 
him claim atonement in the same way as before, 
but tells him that he thinks he will not have to do 
this again ; for there is a man come into the 
business, Gisli, the son of Thorstein, a boastful and 
masterful man (the same man to whom Grettir the 
Strong gave the flogging), who will give him such 
an answer, that the case will be easier to handle 
than before. 

Bardi says he is loth to crave atonement again, 
but will so do, because he knows that Thorarin's 
counsels will turn out well for him. 

We are now told of a man called Lyng-Torfi, 
akin to the Gislungs {i.e., the kindred of Thorstein 
Gislison). He was the greatest scoundrel and 
nififler, a strong man, a liar, and full of injustice. 

The H eath-slayings Story. 195 

He would beat men if he got not his will of them, 
and lifted what he might ; he was here and there 
about the land, and was content nowhere. 

This man Thorarin bade Bardi bring north 
with him, if he were at the Thing, for that some- 
thing \Y )uld come of it. 

So Bardi comes to the Thing, and finds Gisli 
there, and others of his kin, the Burgfirthers. 

On a day amidst of the Thing, Bardi goes to 
the Hill of Laws, and says : 

'' So are things waxen, that I have here craved 
boot for Hall my brother twice already ; need 
drave me thereto, but little heed was paid to my 
case. But now meseemeth that there is some 
hope in thee, Gisli, for paying somewhat, so I need 
no longer welter in doubt ; and most men will say 
that we have not pushed the case very hardly ; 
therefore art thou the more bounden to answer 
well and goodly." 

No man answered before Gisli ; he spake, lean- 
ing forward on his spear-shaft : " Well, we ought 
to answer somewhat, whereas thou drivest on thine 
errand, and hast called on me openly, although I 
deem myself nowise straightly bound up with this 
affair. Now last summer I was in England at the 
place called Thuvaston ; I sat in the market-place, 
and had some money to spend, and it lay beside 
me in a scrip, wherein were seven marks of silver. 
Now there rode through the market certain hair- 
brained fellows, and one of them came up to me, 
and stack his spear into my scrip, and tossed it up 
to him, and rode away therewith, and no more I 
wot thereof. Now that will I make over to thee 

196 The Saga Library. 

for thy brother's gild ; for it seemeth to me this is 
like to thy case, for I account that silver as a waif 
and stray ; but no money else will we lay down." 

Then spake Eid Skeggison : " Let giant hold 
his peace when naked at fire ; evilly and witlessly is 
this done, whereas such great men have part herein." 

Gisli answereth : ** He shouteth afar thatfighteth 
few ; and that is to be looked for of thee that thou 
wouldst speak up for thy kindred even as we have 
now heard ;" and he falls to foul words against Eid. 
But Eid said : "We care not to bandy foul words 
with thee." 

Now men speak with much good will of Bardi's 
case, and think that the answer has been heavy, so 
mildly as the claim was put forward withal. 

Bardi meets Lyng-Torfi at the Thing, and bids 
him home to him, as Thorarin had counselled. 
Bardi goes to Thorarin, and tells him what had 
happened, and says that it seemed to him to have 
gone heavily. But Thorarin said : 

" Now are things come whither I would, and 
that has now been laboured out, that wise men 
look upon the case even in the way we do our- 
selves ; so that it is now less hard to see where 
the revenge shall be brought home." 

Bardi bade him be master therein. 

That summer there was with Bardi in his Thing- 
journey one Thord, the goodman at Broadford in 
Waterdale ; he had two horses, all white except for 
black ears. These horses he deemed beasts so dear, 
that he would not miss them for any other horses. 
But it befell for Thord's faring-mishap that both 
these horses vanished away. 

The Heath- slay ings' Story. 197 

Now Lyng-Torfi abode behind at Lechmote, 
and Thorarin treated him wondrous well, so that 
Lyng-Torfi was light of heart. 

There was a man hight Thorgaut, who dwelt at 
a stead called Sleylech in Burgfirth, a man now 
much stricken in years, but he had been the 
stoutest of fighters in his youth. He had a wife, 
and they two were nought of one mind together, 
one willing this, the other that ; she was exceeding 
shrewish, and but middling wise. Thorgaut had 
good weapons in his coffers, which he had not 
handled since he had given up warfare. 

Now a little after these things, Thorarin fell to 
talk with Lyng-Torfi, and asked him, how friendly 
he was with his kinsfolk. He answered that there 
was little love lost between them. 

" Wilt thou strike a bargain with me ? " says 
Thorarin. " It is told me that Thorgaut thy kins- 
man has a good sword, and if thou wilt go and get 
it for me, I will give thee some goodly stallions." 

Lyng-Torfi is glad enough to do this ; so Thor- 
arin hands over to him a big knife to give to 
Thorgaut's wife, so that she may abet him. 

" I hear tell," says Thorarin, " that those weapons 
are wealthy of victory. Now thou wilt not be at 
a loss, how to hatch a lie for a likely cause why 
thou cravest the weapons." 

Lyng-Torfi bids him have no fear of that, and 
he goes eagerly into the bargain. Then he runs 
south over the Heath, and comes of an evening down 
into Whitewater-side to a kinsman of his, Thor- 
biorn, the son of Bruni, who dwelt at the Walls. 
He is there the night over, and bids him lend him 

198 The Saga Lib7'aiy. 

a weapon, saying that a certain Eastman north in 
Oxdale had challenged him to a single fight about 
a woman whom both would have ; and that the 
appointed day was in a half-month's space, and 
that he might nowhere get a weapon ; and he tells 
a likely tale as to where he had had night-harbours 
in his journey. Thorbiorn answers that this will 
be all a .lie, and that he will get no weapon of him. 
Lyng-Torfi was ill content, and ran over to Thorgaut, 
who had the sword, and tells him what business he 
has on hand, and about his night-harbours as at the 
first house. 

He was well taken in, but nothing more. Then 
he prays Thorgaut to lend him a weapon, and says 
that he will never be in more need of it than now. 
Thorgaut answers, that other things lie nearer to him 
than to meddle in Lyng-Torfi's brawls with other 
folk, and that he may look to his own women- 
affairs himself, nor should he let go out of his 
hand the sword to him. So Lyng-Torfi goes to 
Thorgaut's wife, and tells her of his matter, and 
gives her the knife ; she takes it, and deems it a 
right good thing, and runs at her swiftest to her 
husband, and is very shrewish in talk, saying that 
it is a great shame that he will not help his kindred 
at a pinch. " What hast thou, an old fretting carle, 
to do with such a good weapon now thou art off 
thy feet ? It lieth rusting in the chest-bottom, and 
by this time there is little avail in it." 

He answers, as before, that Lyng-Torfi is not so 
much to him, that he would let his sword go out of 
his hand to him, that no man would ever have done 
such a thino- as to dare beset him with oruile. 

o o 

The Heaths lay tngs Story. 199 

Then she goes and breaks open the chest wherein 
lay the sword, and hands it over to Lyng-Torfi, 
who straightway steals away for the north, and 
brings it to Thorarin. Thorarin says that he has 
carried through his errand well, and bids him take 
horses and fare first northward a while, to put 
himself out of the way of his kinsmen. Lyng- 
Torfi thanks him for the good gift, goes away with 
the horses, and is out of the story. 

[The old MS. of the Heath-slayings Saga 
begins here, but with the broken end of a chapter 
which will not yield any consecutive tale ; and 
which consequently we omit.] 


Now Bardi and his brethren had on hand much 
Wright's work that summer, and the work went 
well the summer through, whereas it was better 
ordered than heretofore. Now summer had worn 
so far that but six weeks thereof were left. Then 
fares Bardi to Lechmote to meet Thorarin his 
fosterer ; often they talked together privily a long 
while, and men knew not clearly what they said. 

" Now will there be a man-mote," says Thor- 
arin, "betwixt the Hope and Huna-water, at the 
place called Thing-ere. But I have so wrought it 
that heretofore none have been holden. 

" Now shalt thou fare thither and prove thy 
friends ; because now I look for it that many men 
will be together there, since man-motes have so 
long been put off. In crowds they will be there, 

2 00 The Saga Library. 

and I ween that Haldor thy foster-brother will 
come thither. Crave thou fellowship of him and 
avail, if thine heart is anywise set on faring away 
from the country-side and the avenging of thy 

" A stead there is called Bank, lying west of 
H una- water ; " there dwelt a woman hight Thordis, 
by-named Gefn, a widow ; there was a man with 
her over her housekeeping, hight Odd, amighty man 
of his hands, not exceeding wealthy nor of great 
kin, but a man well renowned. " Of him shalt 
thou crave following ; for he shall rule his answer 

" In that country is a place called Blizzard-mere, 
where are many steads, one of which is Middleham;" 
there dwelt a man hight Thorgisl ; he was by kin 
mother's sister's son of Gefn's-Odd ; a valiant man 
and a good skald, a man of good wealth, and 
a mighty man of his hands. " Call thou on him to 
fare with thee.' 

" A stead there is hight Bowerfell, twixt Swine- 
water and Blanda ; it is on the Necks to the west- 
ward." There dwelt a man hight Eric, by-named 
Wide-sight ; he was a skald and no little man of 
might. " Him shalt thou call to thy fellowship." 

"In Longdale is a house called Audolfstead," 
where dwelt the man hight Audolf ; "he is a good 
fellow and mighty of his hands ; his brother is 
Thorwald." He is not told of as having aught to 
do with the journey ; he dwelt at the place called 
Evendale, which lieth up from Swinewater. "There 
are two steads so called." He v/as the strongest 
man of might of all the North-country. "Him 

The Heaths layings Story. 201 

shalt thou not call on for this journey, and the 
mood of his mind is the reason for why." 

" There is a stead called Swinewater ; " and 
there dwelt the man hight Summerlid, who was 
by-named the Yeller, wealthy of fee and of good 
account. There dwelt in the house with him his 
daughter's son who hight Thorliot, Yeller's foster- 
ling, a valiant man. " Pray him to be of thy 

A man hight Eyolf dwelt at Asmund's-nip, "which 
is betwixt the Water and Willowdale." " Him shalt 
thou meet and bid him fare with thee ; he is our friend." 

" Now meseemeth," saith he, " thatlittle will come 
of it though thou puttest this forward at the man- 
mote ; but sound them there about the matter, and 
say thou, that they shall not be bound to fare with 
thee, if thou comest not to each one of them on the 
Saturday whenas it lacketh yet five weeks of 
winter. And none such shalt thou have with thee 
who is not ready to go, for such an one is not right 
trusty. Therefore shalt thou the rather choose these 
men to fare with thee than others of the country-side, 
whereas they are near akin to each other ; they are 
men of good wealth, and so also their kinsmen no 
less ; so that they are all as one man. Withal they 
are the doughtiest men of all who are here in 
Willowdale, and in all our parishes ; and they will be 
best willed towards thy furtherance who are most 
our friends. Now is it quite another thing to 
have with one good men and brave, rather than 
runagates untried, men of nought, to fall back 
upon, if any trouble happen. Now withal thy 
home-men are ready to fare with thee, and thy 

202 The Saga Library. 

neighbours, who are both of thy kindred and thine 
alHance : such as Eyolf of Burg thy brother-in-law, 
a doughty man, and a good fellow." 

" There is a stead called Ternmere in Westhope, 
where dwell two brothers." One was hightThorod, 
the other Thorgisl ; they were the sons of Hermund, 
and nephews of Bardi as to kinship ; men of good 
wealth, great champions, and good of daring. 
" These men will be ready to fare with thee." 

Two brothers yet are named who lived at Bardi's 
home, one hight Olaf, the other Day, sons of a 
sister of Bardi's mother, and they had grown up 
there in Gudmund's house ; " they be ready to fare 
with thee." 

Two men more are named, one hight Gris and 
by-named Kollgris, a man reared thereat Asbiorn's- 
ness. He was a deft man and the foreman of them 
there, and had for long been of good-will toward 

The other hight Thord, by-named Fox ; he was 
the fosterling of Thurid and Gudmund. They 
had taken him a little bairn from off the road, and 
had reared him. He was a full ripe man, and well 
of his hands ; and men say that there was nought 
either of word or deed that might not be looked 
for of him ; Gudmund and his wife loved him 
much, and made more of him than he was of worth. 
" This man will be ready to fare from home with 

Now are the men named who were to fare with 

And when they had held such talk, they sun- 

The Heath-slay ings Story. 203 


The Lord's day cometh Bardi to Lechmote, 
and rideth on thence to the man-mote; and by 
then he came was much folk there come, and good 
game is toward. Now were men eager for game, 
whereas the man-motes had been dropped so long. 
Little was done in the case, though men were busy 
in talk at that meeting. 

Now the foster-brethren Haldor and Bardi fell 
to talk together, and Bardi asks whether he would 
fare with him somewhat from out the country-side 
that autumn. Says Haldor : " Belike it will be 
found that on my part I utter not a very manly 
word, when I say that my mind is not made up for 
this journey. Now all things are ready for my 
faring abroad, on which faring I have been twice 
bent already. But I have settled this in my mind, 
if ever perchance I may have my will, to be to thee 
of avail that may be still greater, shouldst thou be 
in need of it, and ever hereafter if thou be hard 
bestead ; and this also is a cause hereof, that there 
are many meeter than I for the journey that, as my 
mind tells me, thou art bent on." 

Bardi understood that so it was as he said, and 
he said that he would be no worse friend to him 
than heretofore. 

"But I will bid thee somewhat," says Haldor; 
" it befell here last summer, that I fell out with a 
man hight Thorarin,and he was wounded by my 
onslaught. He is of little account for his own 
sake, but those men claim boot for him of whose 
Thing he is, and of much account are they. Now 

204 The Saga Library. 

it is not meet for me to put Eilif and Hoskuld 
from the boot, so I will thou make peace for me in 
the matter, as I cannot bring myself to it, whereas 
I have nay-said hitherto to offer them atone- 

Then goeth Bardi forthwith to meet Eilif and 
Hoskuld, and straightway takes up the word on 
behalf of Haldor, and they bespeak a meeting 
between themselves for the appeasing of the case, 
when it lacked four weeks of winter, at the Cliffs, 
Thorarin's dwelling. 

Now cometh Bardi to speech with Gefn's-Odd 
that he should fare with him south to Burgfirth. 

Odd answereth his word speedily : "Yea, though 
thou hadst called on me last winter, or two winters 
ago, I had been all ready for this journey." 

Then met Bardi Thorgisl, the sister's son of 
Odd's mother, and put the same words before 
him. He answereth : " That will men say, that 
thou hast not spoken hereof before it was to be 
looked for, and fare shall I if thou wiliest." 

Then meeteth he Arngrim, the fosterling of 
Audolf, and asked him if he would be in the journey 
with him ; and he answereth : " Ready am I, when 
thou art ready." 

The same talk held he with all them afore- 
named, and all they took his word well. 

Now spake Bardi : "In manly wise have ye 
dealt with me herein ; now therefore will I come 
unto you on the Saturday, when it lacketh five 
weeks of winter ; and if I come not thus, then are 
ye nowise bound to fare with me." 

Now ride men home from the man-mote, and 

The Heat h-s layings' Story. 205 

they meet, the foster-father and son, Thorarin and 
Bardi, and Bardi tells him of the talk betwixt him 
and Haldor. Thorarin showed that it liked him 
well, and said that the journey would happen 
none the less though Haldor fared not. " Yea, 
he may yet stand thee in good stead. And know 
that I have made men ware of this journey for so 
short a while, because I would that as late as 
might be aforehand should it be heard of in the 
country of those Burgfirthers." 


Now wears the time, till Friday of the sixth 
week, and at nones of that day home came the 
home-men of Bardi, and had by then pretty much 
finished with their hay-work. 

Bardi and his brethren were without, when the 
workmen came, and they greeted them well. They 
had their work-tools with them, and Thord the 
Fox was dragging his scythe behind him. 

Quoth Bardi : " Now draggeth the Fox his 
brush behind him." 

" So is it," saith Thord, " that I drag my brush 
behind me, and cock it up but little or nought; 
but this my mind bodes me, that thou wilt trail thy 
brush very long or ever thou avenge Hall thy 

Bardi gave him back no word in revenge, and 
men go to table. 

Those brethren were speedy with their meat, 
and stood up from table straightway, and Bardi 

2o6 The Saga Library. 

goeth up to Thord the Fox and spake with hirn, 
laying before him the work he shall do that even- 
ing and the day after, Saturday to wit. 

Forty haycocks lay yet ungathered together 
in Asbiorn's-ness ; and he was to gather them 
together, and have done with it that evening. 
" Moreover, to-morrow shalt thou fare to fetch 
our bell-wether hight the Flinger, whereas our 
wethers be gone from the sheepwalks, and come 
into the home-pastures." 

Now he bade Thord to this, because the wether 
was worse to catch than other sheep, and swifter 
withal. " Now further to-morrow shalt thou go to 
Ambardale, and fetch home the five-year-old ox 
which we have there, and slaughter him, and bring 
all the carcass south to Burg on Saturday. Great is 
the work, but if thou win it not, then shalt thou try 
which of us bears the brush most cocked thence- 

Thord answered and said that often he had heard 
his big threats ; and thereof he is nowise blate. 

Now rideth Bardi in the evening to Lechmote, 
and the brethren together, and Bardi and Thorarin 
talk together the evening through. 


Now it is to be told of Thord's business, how 
he got through with it. He gathered together the 
hay which had stood less safely ; and when he came 
home, then was the shepherd about driving the 
sheep out to the Cliffs, and Thord rides the horse 
whereon he had been carting the evening long. 

The Heath-slayings' Story. 207 

Now he finds the flock of wethers to which he had 
been told off, but could not overhaul them till he 
got out to Hope-oyce ; so he slaughters that wether 
and rideth home with the carcass. By this time 
he has foundered the horse ; so he takes another, 
and gallops over the dale, as forthright the way 
lay, nor did he heed whether he was faring by 
night or by day. He cometh to Ambardale in 
early morn, and getteth the ox, and slaughtereth 
him and dighteth him, bindeth the carcass on his 
horse, and going his ways cometh home again, and 
layeth down the carcass. Then he taketh out the 
carcass of the wether, and when he cometh back 
one limb of the ox is gone. No good words 
spake Thord thereover ; but a man owneth that 
he had taken it away, and bids him be nought so 
bold as to speak aught thereof unless he would 
have a clout. So Thord taketh the rest of the 
carcass, and fareth south to Burg as he had been 

There Alof, the sister of Bardi, and her foster- 
mother taketh in the flesh-meat. The foster-mother 
also hight Alof, a wise woman, and foster-mother 
also of Bardi and the other sons of Gudmund. 
She was called Kiannok, and thus by that name 
were the two Alofs known apart. Alof, Bardi's 
fosterer, was wise exceedingly ; she could see 
clearly a many things, and was well-wishing to the 
sons of Gudmund. She was full of lore, and 
ancient things were stored in her mind. 

2o8 The Saga Library. 


Now must it be told what wise they talked to- 
gether, Thorarin his fosterer and Bardi, before 
Bardi got to the road ; they talked of a many 

It was early of the Saturday morning, whereon 
he should go meet his fellows who were to fare 
with him. But when he was ready to ride, there 
were led forth two horses, white with black ears 
either of them. Those horses did Thord of 
Broadford own, and they had vanished away that 
summer from the Thing. 

Now spake Thorarin : " Here are Thord's 
horses ; thou shalt go and bring them to him, and 
take no reward therefor : neither is it worth re- 
warding ; for I it was who caused them to vanish 
away, and they have been in my keeping, and 
hard enough matter for me has it been to see to 
their not being taken and used. But for this cause 
let I take these horses, that meseemed it would be 
more of an errand to ask after these horses than 
mere jades. So I have often sent men south to 
Burgfirth this summer to ask after them. Me- 
seemed that was a noteworthy errand, and that 
they would not see through my device; and I 
have but newly sent a man south, and from the 
south will he come to-morrow, and tell us tidings 
of the South-country." 

Now just then was there a market toward at 
Whitewater-meads, and ships were come from the 
main but a little while before these things befell. 

The Heath-slayings Story. 209 


Now rideth Bardi thence and cometh to Bank, 
whereas dwelt Thordis, and there stood a saddled 
horse and a shield there beside him, and they rode 
home to the house with much din in the home-mead 
over the hard field. 

Without there was a man, and a woman with 
him, who was washing his head ; and these were 
Thordis and Odd, and she had not quite done the 
washing of his head, and had not yet washed the 
lather therefrom. 

So straightway when he saw Bardi he sprang 
up, and welcomed him laughing. 

Bardi took his greeting well, and bade the woman 
finish her work and wash him better. 

Even so he let her do, and arrayed himself and 
went with Bardi. 

Now came they north over Blanda to Broadford, 
and brought Thord his horses. 

It is to be told that, at that time in the week 
just worn, was Thorgisl Arason ridden north to 
Eyiafirth, whereas he was to be wedded at Thwart- 
water, and he was to be looked for from the north 
the next week after. Thord takes his horses well, 
and offers some good geldings as a reward. But 
Bardi said that he would take no reward therefor ; 
and such, he said, was the bidding of him who 
had found the horses. " Thou, friend," saith he, 
" shalt be my friend at need." 

Then Bardi rides into Longdale, and over the 
meadows close anigh to the stead of Audolf ; and 
they saw how a man rode down from the home- 

II. p 

2IO The Saga Library. 

mead, and they deemed it would be Arngrim their 
fellow ; and he rideth with them. 

Now ride they west over Blanda to Eric Wide- 
sight, and they came there by then the sheep 
were being tended at morning- meal time, betwixt 
noon and day-meal, and they come on the shepherd 
and ask him whether Eric were at home. 

He said that Eric was a-horseback at sunrise, 
" and now we know not whither he has ridden." 

"What thinkest thou mostlike as to where he 
has ridden ? " says Bardi. For it cometh into 
his mind that he will have slunk away, and will 
not fare with them. But nought was it found to be 
so that he had slunk off away. Now they saw two 
men riding down along Swinewater ; for thence 
from the stead one could see wide about, and they 
knew them for Eric Wide-sight and Thorliot, 
Yeller's fosterling. They met there whereas the 
water hight Laxwater falleth out of Swinewater, 
and either greeted the other well. 

Now they ride till they come to Thorgisl of 
Middleham ; they greeted each other well and ride 
away thence and come hard on Gorge-water. 
Then said Bardi that men should ride to the stead 
at Asmund's-nip and meet Eyolf Oddson. " There 
rideth a man," said he, " nor laggardly either, from 
the stead, and down along the river ; and me- 
seemeth," saith he, "that there will be Eyolf; I 
deem that he will be at the ford by then we come 
there; so ride we forth." 

So did they, and saw a man by the ford, and 
knew him for Eyolf; and they met and greeted 
each other well. Then they go their ways and 

The Heath-slayings Story. 2 1 1 

come to the place called Ash in Willowdale. Then 
there came riding up to meet Bardi and his fellow- 
ship three men in coloured raiment, and they 
met presently, whereas each were riding towards 
the other ; and two sister's sons of Bardi were in 
that company, and one hight Lambkar and the 
other Hun; but the third man in their fellowship 
was a Waterdaler. They had all come out and 
landed west in Willowdale, but Gudbrand their 
lather and Gudrun their mother dwelt west in 
Willowdale, at the stead called thereafter Gud- 

Now was there a joyful meeting betwixt those 
kinsmen, whereas Bardi met his sister's sons, and 
either told the other what tidinofs there were. 

Bardi tells of his journey, whither he was bound. 

These men were eighteen winters old, and had 
been abroad one winter. They were the noblest 
of men both for goodlihead and might, and goodly 
crafts and deftness, and moreover they would have 
been accounted of as doughty of deed even had 
they come already to their full age. 

Now they took counsel together, and said that 
they were minded to betake them to the journey 
with them, but their fellow fared away into Willow- 

Now Bardi rides till he comes to Lechmote, 
and tells his fosterer how matters stood. Thorarin 
says : " Now shalt thou ride home to Asbiorn's- 
ness ; but to-morrow will I ride to meet thee, and 
Thorberg my son with me ; and then will I ride 
on the way with you." 

2 1 2 The Saga Library. 


Now fares Bardi home with his fellowship, and 
abides at home that night. On the morrow Koll- 
gris arrays them breakfast ; but the custom it was 
that the meat was laid on the board before men, 
and no dishes there were in those days. Then 
befell this unlooked-for thing, that three portions 
were gone from three men. Kollgris went and 
told Bardi thereof. 

"Go on dighting the board," said he, "and 
speak not thereof before other men." 

But Thurid said that to those sons of hers he 
should deal no portion of breakfast, but she would 
deal it. 

Kollgris did even so, and set forth the board, a 
trencher for each man, and set meat thereon. 

Then went in Thurid and laid a portion before 
each of those brethren, and there was now that 
ox-shoulder cut up in three. 

Taketh up Steingrim the word and said : 
" Hugely is this carved, mother, nor hast thou 
been wont to give men meat in such measureless 
fashion. Unmeasured mood there is herein, and 
nigh witless of wits art thou become." 

She answereth : " No marvel is this, and nought 
hast thou to wonder thereat ; for bigger was Hall 
thy brother carven, and I heard ye tell nought 
thereof that any wonder was that." 

She let a stone p-o with the flesh-meat for each 
one of them ; and they asked what that might 

She answereth : " Of that ye brethren have 

The Heath-slay in gs Story. 213 

most which is no more likely for avail than are 

these stones (for food), insomuch as ye have not 

dared to avenge Hall your brother, such a man as 

he was ; and far off have ye fallen away from your 

kinsmen, the men of great worth, who would not 

have sat down under such shame and diss^race as 

ye a long while have done, and gotten the blame 

of many therefor." 

Then she walked up along the floor shrieking, 

and sang a stave : 

I say that the cravers of songs of the battle 

Now soon shall be casting their shame-word on Bardi. 

The tale shall be told of thee, God of the wound-worm. 

That thy yore-agone kindred with shame thou undoest ; 

Unless thou, the ruler of light once a-lying 

All under the fish-road shall let it be done, 

That the lathe-fire's bidders at last be red-hooded. 

Let all folk be hearkening this song of my singing. 

Then they thrust the trenchers from them with all 
that was on them, and go to their horses and get 
ready at their speediest. 

That was on a Sunday when it lacked five weeks 
of winter. 

So they leap a-horseback and ride away out of 
the home-mead. 

Now see those brethren of Thurid their mother, 
that she was gotten aback of the horse that they 
called Yokeard, and had called to her a house- 
carle for her fellow, a man not named, but of whom 
it is said that he had no bottom of wits. 

Then said Bardi : " This turneth toward mishap 
that she has taken to this journey ; and this might 
we well lack ; so now let us seek rede and help 
her to come down (off the nag)." 

214 The Saga Library. 

Then he calleth to him his home-men Olaf and 

" Now shall ye two," said Bardi, " ride to meet 
her, and talk with her seemly and fair ; but do as 
I bid you. Ye shall say that it is well that she 
has come on the journey with us, and bid the 
house-carle give her good following. Ye shall 
steady her in the saddle, and so ride until you 
come as far forth as Saxlech ;" it falls out of West- 
hope-water and down into Willowdale-water. A 
piece of road whereon folk are wont to give spur 
to their horses, leads to the brook from the north, 
and also forth from it ; " and then shall ye spring 
her saddle-girths. Day shall do that, making as 
if he would girth up her horse, when ye come to 
the brook ; then down with her from horseback, 
so that she fall into the brook, saddle and all ; 
and bring the horse away with you." 

So they rode to meet her, and greeted her well. 
She saith : " So it is ye two, who betake you to 
this, to ride to meet me and honour me, rather 
than my sons ? " 

" They bade us do this errand," say they. 

She says : " For this cause am I come on this 
journey, that then meseemeth the less will certain 
great deeds fall short, whereas there shall be no lack 
of egging on now, and forsooth there is need thereof " 

They say that it will be of much avail this her 
faring with them. So they rode till they came up 
to Saxlech; then spake Day: "Thy follower is 
but a natural, Thurid, and he has not so girthed 
thine horse that it will do ; it is a mighty shame to 
have such^a thing as he to follow doughty women." 

The Heatli-slayiiigs Story. 215 

" Do thou girth the horse better, then," says she, 
" and follow me thereafter." 

He falls to now, and springs the girths of the 
carJine's horse, and so she, saddle and all, falls into 
Saxlech, even as those fellows had been bidden. 
Thurid ran no risk of hurt there, and crawled out 
of the brook. The two men rode away, and had 
the horse with them. Thurid got home in the 
evening with her house-carle, and was nowise fain 
of her errand. 


Now Bardi and his flock ride their ways till they 
are but a little short of Burg. Then ride up cer- 
tain men to meet them, who but Thorarin the 
Priest, Bardi's fosterer, and Thorberg his son. 

They straightway fall to talk, and the fosterer 
and fosterling come to speech. " Nay, foster- 
father," saith Bardi, " great is the sword which 
thou layest there across thy knee." 

" Hast thou not seen me have this weapon be- 
fore, thou heedful and watchful ? " saith Thorarin. 
" So it is, I have not had it before. And now shall 
we two shift weapons ; I shall have that which thou 
now hast." 

So did they ; and Bardi asks whence it came to 
him. He told him, with all the haps of how it fared 
betwixt him who owned it and Lyng-Torfi, and how 
he had drawn him in to seek the weapons. " But 
Thorberg my son hath the other weapon, andThor- 
biorn owns that, but Thorgaut owns that which 

2 1 6 The Saga Library. 

thou hast. Most meet it seemed to me, that their 
own weapons should lay low their pride and 
masterful mood ; therefore devised I this device, 
and therewithal this, that thou mightest avenge 
thee of the shame that they have done to thee and 
thy kindred. Now will I that thou be true to my 
counsel with me, such labour as I have put forth 
for thine honour." 

Now ride they into the home-mead of Burg unto 
Eyolf, the brother-in-law of those brethren. There 
were two harnessed horses before the door when 
Bardi came into the garth ; and on one of them 
was the victual of the brethren, and were meant 
for provision for their journey ; and that was the 
meaning of the new-slain flesh-meat which Bardi 
let bring thither erst ; but Alof their sister and 
Kiannok, Bardi's foster-mother, had dight the same. 

Now Eyolf leaps a-horseback and is all ready to 
ride into the home-mead from the doors. Then 
came out a woman and called on Bardi, and said 
that he should ride back to the doors, and that she 
had will to speak with him ; and she was Alof, his 
sister. He bade the others ride on before, and 
said that he would not tarry them. 

So he Cometh to the door and asketh her what 
she would. She biddeth him light down and come 
see his foster-mother. So did he, and went in. 
The carline was muttering up at the further end of 
the chamber, as she lay in her bed there. " Who 
goeth there now ?" says she. 

He answereth, " Now is Bardi here ; what wilt 
thou with me, foster-mother ? " 

" Come thou hither," saith she ; " welcome art 

The Heaths layings Story. 217 

thou now. Now have I slept," saith she, "but I 
waked through the night arraying thy victual along 
with thy sister. Come thou hither, and I will 
stroke thee over." 

Bardi did according to her word, for he loved 
her much. 

She fell to work, beginning with the crown of his 
head, and stroked him all over right down to the toes. 

Bardi said: "What feelest thou herein, and what 
art thou minded will be, that thou strokest me so 
carefully } " 

She answereth : " I think well of it ; nowhere 
meseemeth is aught in the way of a big bump, to 
come upon." 

Bardi was a big man and stark of pith, and thick 
was the neck of him ; she spans his neck with her 
hands, and taketh from her sark a big pair of beads 
which was hers, and winds it about his neck, and 
draggeth his shirt up over it. 

He had a whittle at his neck in a chain, and that 
she let abide. Then she bade him farewell ; and he 
rideth away now after his fellows ; but she called 
after him, " Let it now abide so arrayed, as I have 
arrayed it; and meseemeth that then things will 
go well." 


Now when he comethup with his fellowship, they 
ride their w^ays. Thorarin fared long on the road 
with them, and layeth down, how they shall go 
about their journey, deeming that much lay on it 
that they should fare well. 

2i8 The Saga Library. 

" A place for guesting have I gotten you," saith 
he, " in Nipsdale, which ye shall take. The bonder 
whereas ye shall harbour to-night is one Nial. So it 
is told," said he, " that, as to other men, he is no great 
thane with his wealth, though he hath enough ; but 
this I wot that he will take you in at the bidding 
of my word. But now is the man come hither 
who last night rode from Burgfirth and the south, 
he whom I sent south this week to wot tidings of 
the country-side. And this he knoweth clearly as 
a true tale, that Hermund Illugison will be at the 
market the beginning of this week with many other 
men of the country-side. This also ye will have 
heard, that those brethren, the sons of Thorgaut, 
have a business on their hands this summer, to 
wit, to mow the meadow which is called Gold- 
mead ; and now is the work well forward, so that 
it will be done on Wednesday of this week ; so that 
they must needs be at home. Now I have heard 
that which they are wont to fall to speech of, those 
Gislungs, when there is any clatter or noise ; then 
say they, ' What ! will Bar di be come ? ' and thereof 
make they much jeering and mocking for the 
shaming of you. Now it is also told north here, 
and avouched to be thoroughly true, that this have 
the men of the country-side agreed to, that if any 
tidings befall in the country such as be of men's 
fashioning, then shall all men be bound to ride 
after them, the reason thereof being that Snorri 
the Priest and his folk slept but a short way from 
the steads after that slaying and big deed of his. 
And everyone who is not ready hereto shall be 
fined in three marks of silver, if he belong to those 

The Heath'slayings Story. 2 1 9 

who have ' thingfare-pay ' to yield, from Haven- 
fells to North-water, whereas there dwelleth the 
greatest number of the Thingmen of the Sidefolk 
and those of Flokis-dale. So ride ye on the Monday 
from Nial's, and fare leisurely and have night- 
harbour on the Heath" (thence gat it the name of 
Two-day's Heath), "and ye shall come to those two 
fighting-steads which be on the Heath, as ye go 
south, and look to it if they be as I tell you. 
There is a place called the Mires on the Heath, 
whence the fall of water is great ; and in the 
northern Mire is a water whereinto reacheth a 
ness, no bigger at its upper part than nine men 
may stand abreast thereon ; and from that mere 
waters run northward to our country-sides ; and 
thither would I bid you to. But another fighting- 
stead is there in the southern Mire, which I would 
not so much have you hold as the other, and it 
will be worse for you if you shall have to make a 
shift there for safeguard. There also goeth a ness 
into the water. Thereon may eighteen men stand 
abreast, and the waters fall thence from that mere 
south into the country. 

" But ye shall come south on Wednesday to the 
fell-bothies whenasall men are gone from the bothies 
all up and down Copsedale ; forall theSidemen have 
mountain business there, and there hitherto have 
tarried. Now meseemeth that ye will come thither 
nigh to nones of the day. Then shall two of your 
company ride down into the country-side there, and 
along the fell, and so to the Bridge, and not come 
into the peopled parts till ye are south of the river. 
Then shall ye come to the stead called Hall ward- 

220 The Saga Library. 

stead, and ask the goodman for tidings, and ask 
after those horses which have vanished away from 
the North-country. Ye shall ask also of tidings 
from the market. Then will ye see on Goldmead, 
whereas ye fare down along the river, whether men 
be a mowing thereon, even as the rumour goes 

" Then shall ye ride up along to the ford, and let 
the goodman show you the way to the ford ; and 
so ride thence up towards the Heath and on to 
the Heath, whence ye may look down on Gold- 
mead whereas ye fare along the river. Now on 
Wednesday morning shalt thou fare down on to 
the bridge, whence ye may see what may be 
toward in the country-side ; and thou shalt sunder 
thy company for three places, to wit, the eighteen 
all told ; but the nineteenth shall abide behind to 
heed your horses, and that shall be Kollgris, and 
let them be ready when ye need to take to them. 

" Now six men shall be up on the bridge ; and 
I shall make it clear who they shall be, and why it 
shall be arrayed that way. There shall be those 
kinsmen Thorgisl of Middleham and Arngrim, and 
Eric Wide-sight, and Thorliot, Yeller's fosterling, 
and Eyolf of Asmund's-nip ; and for this reason 
shall they sit there, because they would be the 
stiffest to thee and the hardest to sway whenas ye 
come into the country-side, and it behoveth you not 
that ye lack measure and quieting now and again. 

" But midway shall sit other six : the brethren 
Thorod and Thorgisl of Ternmere " (the sons of the 
brother of Bardi's father), "then the third man who 
came instead of Haldor ; therewithal shall be the 
sons of thy mother's sister, Hun and Lambkar ; and 

The Heaths layings' Story. 221 

Eyolf, thy brother-in-law, for the sixth ; they shall be 
somewhat more obedient to thy counsel, and not 
fare with suchlike fury. And for this reason shall 
they sit there, that they may look on the goings of 
men about the country-side. 

" But ye six shall fare down (into the country), to 
wit, thou and Stein and Steingrim, thy brethren, 
and Olaf and Day and Thord. They will be the 
most obedient to thy word ; yet shall ye have 
strength enough for those on the Mead. 

" Now shall ye fare away forthright after ye 
have done them a scathe whereas the chase will 
not fail you, and less labour will they lay thereon, 
if there be but seen six men of you, and there will 
not be a great throng at your heels if so ye go on. 

" Now shall ye ride away at your swiftest until 
ye are come to the northern fighting-stead upon 
the Heath ; because that thence all verdicts go 
to the north, and therein is the greatest avail to 
you that so things should turn out. 

" And yet I misdoubt me that thou wilt not 
bring this about, because of the frowardness of 
them that follow thee. 

" Now must we sunder for this while, and meet 
we hail hereafter." 


Now comes Bardi with his flock to Nial's in the 
evening. Nial is standing without, and bids them 
all guesting as one merry with ale ; that they take, 
let loose their horses, and sit them down on either 
bench. Nial is without that evening, and his wife 

222 The Saga Library. 

with him, (lighting victual for their guests ; but 
his young lad was within, and made game with 

Bardi asked the lad if he had ever a whetstone. 
" I wot," saith he, '* of a hard-stone which my father 
owns, but I durst not take it." 

" I will buy it of thee," saith Bardi, " and give 
thee a whittle therefor." 

" Yea," said the lad, ** why then should I not 
strike a bargain with thee ; " and goeth and findeth 
the hard-stone, and giveth it to Bardi. Bardi 
handles it, and taketh the whittle from his neck, 
and therewith was somewhat shifted the pair of 
beads which the carline had done about his neck, 
whereof is told sithence. 

Now they whet their weapons, and the lad 
thinketh he hath done them a good turn, whereas 
they have what they needed. So there they abide 
the night through, and have good cheer. 

They ride their ways on the Monday in good 
weather, and ofo not hard. Bardi asks of Eric 
Wide-sight what wise he deemed things would go. 
He answereth : 

O Lime-tree, upbearer of board of the corpses, 

We nineteen together have gone from the Northland ; 

All over the Heath have we wended together, 

And our will is to nourish the bloodfowl with victual. 

But, O lad of the steed that is stalled on the rollers, 

The steed of the sea-rover Heite, well wot we 

That fewer shall wend we our ways from the Southland. 

Now the mind of the singer is bent on the battle. 

Now they abide there on the Heath night-long, 
and on the morrow they ride into Copse, and that 

The Heath-slayings Story. 223 

was about nones of the day ; but when they had 
baited there a while, then ride two men of them 
down into the peopled parts, as Thorarin had bidden ; 
they came to no homesteads and met no people, 
but went the mountain way all along till they 
came to the Bridge, and so at last to Hall ward- 
stead, and saw doings clearly on Goldmead, and 
saw that there were carles on the meadow, who 
were mowing, all in their shirts, and it seemed 
to them that there would be a day's mowing 
yet to do, even as had been said. So they find 
the goodman, and fell to talk with him, and asked 
him of tidings, but neither he nor they had any to 
tell, and they asked after those horses which they 
had come to seek, and in search of which men had 
been sent so oft before. He said he wotted no 
whit where they were, and bade them, for all he 
cared, harp on this for ever and ever. 

They asked what tidings there might be from 
the market, and what kind of a throne was there. 
He said he had not clearly heard what had betid 
there, and that he deemed it no matter either 
way. Then they bade him show them the way 
up along the river to the ford. So did he ; and 
they parted therewith, and they went to meet 
their fellows and tell them how matters stood ; 
and there they sleep the night away. 


Now must somewhat be told about the men of 
that country who now come into our matter. 
Thorbiorn Brunison rose up early at Walls, and 

224 ^-^^ Saga Library. 

bade his house-carle rise with him. " To-day- 
shall we fare to Thorgaut to the stithy, and there 
shall we smithy." 

Now that was early, just at the sun's uprising. 
Thorbiorn called for their breakfast, and nought is 
told of what of things was brought forward, but 
that the goodwife set a bowl on the board. 
Thorbiorn cried out that he was nought well 
served, and he drave the bowl betwixt the 
shoulders of her. She turned about thereat, and 
cried out aloud, and was shrewish of tongue, and 
either was hard on the other. 

" Thou hast brought that before me," said he, 
" wherein there is nought save blood, and a 
wonder it is that thou seest nothing amiss 

Then she answereth calmly : " I brought nought 
before thee which thou mightest not well eat; 
and none the worse do I think of the wonder thou 
seest, whereas it betokens that thou shalt be 
speedily in hell. For assuredly this will be thy 

He sang a stave : 

The wealth-bearing stem that for wife we are owning, 

The black coif of widowhood never shall bear 

For my death ; though I know that the field of the necklace 

All the days of my life neath the mould would be laying : 

She who filleth the ale round would give for my eating 

The apples of hell-orchard. Evil unheard of ! 

But that wealth-bearing board now will scarcely meseemeth 

Have might for the bringing this evil about. 

Then she springs away, and takes a cheese-loaf 
and casts it down before him. But she sat on the 

The Heath-slayings Story. 2.2.^ 

dais on the other side and wept. Then Thor- 
biorn sang another stave : 

Yea, he who spurs onward the steed of the drift 
Of the fair-bestroked courser of sea-roving Ati, 
Hath nothing of thanks for the wife that bewails him, 
While yet he fares quick on the face of the earth. 
For she, the fair isle of the wrist-flame, meseemeth. 
Will think it o'er irksome to have, when she flitteth 
The friend of the heath-prowlers under the earth. 
To speed him with heavy rain over the cheek. 

"Now moreover things are shifting in uncouth 
fashion. Meseems as if both grable-walls have 
fallen away from the house, and I seem to see a 
mighty river running through the house from the 
north of the Heath ; and of mould it seems to me, 
and of nought else tastes the cheese which I am 

Therewith they spring up from the board, and 
go to their horses and leap aback, and ride out 
from the garth. 

Then Thorbiorn took up the word : " Dreamed 
have I in the night," saith he. 

The house-carle asked : " What dreamedst 

He said : " Methouofht I was standing- there 
whereas folk were not all of one mind. And I 
thought I had that sword which I was wont to 
bear in my hand, but which as now is not at 
home ; and straightway it brake asunder when I 
hewed forth with it. Methought also that I sang 
two staves in my sleep ; and both of them I 
remember : 

O grove of the mote of the maidens of battle, 
A dream have I dreamed me, and now will I duly 
II. Q 

226 The Saga Library. 

Make hard and hard woven my song-tale the noble ; 

'Twas the white wand of shields, of the holme of the helm-wolfj 

The buckler, there brake it asunder, so deemed I, 

In the place where the blood-reeds clashed bickering together, 

At a meeting most seemly of him who is wonted 

To seek out the haunts of the hanged for a gossip. 

O Balder, that heeds the dear lair of the dale-fish, 
O how well it were if I then had been bearing 
A wound-wand unflawed in the din of the welter. 
Where light leaps the keel of the rim of the war-board ; 
And I with my head-bone unhurt in the battle. 
If I bore but the brand that will bring unto death 
Of the warriors of menfolk not few, but a many. 
And e'en such might I hold it until my life's ending. 

He who followed Thorbiorn learned both these 
staves as they rode. 

Now Thorbiorn peers about him. " Yea," saith 
he, "at home lieth now the smithying stuff, or 
else it hath fallen down. Go thou back again and 
seek it ; and if thou find it on the way, then fare 
thou to the stithy ; but I will ride on ahead. But 
if thou find it not .on the road, then fare thou to 
thy work." 

So they sunder, but the house-carle found not 
the smithying stuff. 

Now Thorbiorn rideth to Thorgaut his kins- 
man, to his stithy, and meeteth him before day- 
meal-tide ; each greeted the other and asked for 
tidings, and neither had aught to tell the other. 

Now it is said that those sons of Thorgaut rise 
up all of them, and go to the mowing of Gold- 
mead, and they spake between themselves how 
fair-like the weather looked, and that Goldmead 
would be mown that same day ; they go to the 
meadow, and doff their clothes and weapons. 

The Heath-slay ings Story. 227 

Gisli went over the meadow awhile, and looked 
on that which they were minded to mow, and he 
took his stand and sang a stave. 

He told of a dream of his, that him thought 
they were standing on Goldmead, and there came 
on them many wolves and dealt with them there, 
and great was the work there : " And methought I 
woke therewith, that I ran home to the stead." 

Then the}' fall to work and mow a while. 


Now has Bardi arrayed his folk in their lurking- 
places, as his fosterer had taught him, even as is 
aforesaid, and he tells them all what he had fore- 
cast in his mind. 

Then they were somewhat better content there- 
with, and deemed that what was minded would be 
brought about ; and they gave out that they liked 
this array, so to say, but they said nevertheless 
that to their minds the doings would be but little. 

There was then a big wood on Whitewater- 
side, such as in those days were wide about the 
land here, and six of them sat down above the wood, 
and saw clearly what befell on Goldmead. Bardi 
was in the wood, and well-nigh he and the six of 
them within touch of them that were a-movving. 
Now Bardi scans heedfully how many men were 
at the mowing ; and he deemed that he did not 
clearly know whether the third man, who was 
white about the head, would be a woman, or 
whether it would be Gisli. 

Now they went down from under the wood one 

228 The Saga Library. 

after other ; and it seemed first to those sons of 
Thorgaut as if but one man went there ; and 
Thormod, who mowed the last in the meadow, 
took up the word. " There go men," said he. 

" But it seemeth to me," said Gish, " that but one 
man goeth there ; " but they went hard, yet did 
not run. 

" That is not so," said Ketil Brusi ; " men are 
there, and not so few." 

So they stood still, and looked thereon, and 
Ketil said : " Will not Bardi be there ? That is 
not unlike him ; and no man have I skill to know 
if yon be not he. And that wise was he arrayed 
last summer at the Thing." 

Those brethren, Ketil and Thormod, looked 
on ; but Gisli went on mowing and took up the 
word. " So speak ye," said he, " as if Bardi would 
be coming from out of every bush all the summer. 
And he has not come yet." 

Bardi and his folk had portioned out the men 
to them beforehand, that two should fall on each 
one of them. Bardi and Stein were to take 
Ketil Brusi, who was mighty of strength ; Day 
and Olaf were to go against Gisli ; Steingrim and 
Thord were to go against Thormod. So now 
they turn on them. 

Now spake Ketil : "No lie it was that Bardi is 
come ! " 

They would fain catch up their weapons, but 
none of them gat hold of the weapons. 

Now when they see into what plight they were 
come, Gisli and Ketil would run for the home- 
mead garth, and Bardi and four of his fellows fol- 

The Heath- slay ings Story. 229 

lowed after them ; but Thormod turns down to 
the river, and after him went Thord and Stein- 
grim, and chased him into the river and stoned 
him from the shore ; he got him over the river, 
and came off well. 

Now came those brethren to the garth, and 
Ketil was the swifter, and leapt over it into the 
mead ; but whenas Gisli leapt at the garth, a turf 
fell therefrom, and he slipped ; therewith came up 
Bardi, who was the swiftest of those men, and 
hewed at him with the sword Thorgaut's-loom, 
and hewed off well-nisfh all the face of him. 

Straightway then he turns to meet his fellows, 
and tells them that somethino- of a wound had 
been wrought. They said that the onset was but 
little and unwarriorlike. But he said that things 
would have to be as they were. " And now shall 
we turn back." 

Needs must he rule, though it was much against 
their will. 

But Ketil dragged Gisli in over the garth, and 
cast him on his back, and they saw that he was 
no heavy burden to him ; and he ran home to the 

Thorbiorn and Thorgaut were in the stithy 
abiding till the house-carle should come back with 
the smithying stuff. 

Now Thorgaut spake : " Yea, there is great 
noise and clatter ; is not Bardi come ? " 

Even in that nick of time came Ketil into the 
stithy, and said : " That found Gisli thy son, that 
come he is ; " and he cast him dead before his 

230 The Saga Library. 

Now Bardi turns to meet his fellows, and said 
that he was minded that now man was come to be 
set against man. Quoth they, that the men were 
nowise equal, and that little had been done though 
one man had been slain, and so long a way as they 
had fared thereto. 

So when all the fellowship met, then said they 
who had been higher up in the lurking-places, that 
full surely they would not have fared if they had 
known they should thus have to leave off in this 
way, that no more vengeance should follow after 
such a grief as had been done them, and they said 
that Gisli and Hall were men nowise equal. And 
they laid blame on Bardi, and said that they were 
minded to think that more would have been done 
if they had stood anear. Then they went to their 
horses, and said that they would have breakfast. 
Bardi bade them have no heed of breakfast, but 
they said that they had no will to fast. " And we 
know not how to think whatwise thou wouldst 
have come away if thou hadst done that wherein 
was some boldness." 

Bardi said that he heeded not what they said. 
So they had their meat. 


Now Thorgaut and Thorbiorn and Ketil, they 
talk together at home there. Thorgaut says that 
great is the hap befallen ; " and the blow has 
lighted nigh to me ; yet meseemeth that no less 
may be looked for yet, and I will that there be no 
riding after them." 

The Heath-slayings Story. 231 

They say both that that shall never be. The 
women heard what had been said, and Ketil sends 
them out to Frodistead and Side-mull to tell the 
tidings ; and then might each tell the other thence- 
forth, till the word should come into Thwartwater- 
lithe, and over Northwater-dale, for men to ride 
after them who have wrought this deed, and so 
put off from them forfeits and fines. 

They fare then, and take their horses and ride 
to Highfell to see Arni Thorgautson ; he there 
might welcome men allied to him, for thither was 
come Thorarin of Thwartwater-lithe, the father of 
Astrid his wife : thence ride they five together. 

Now it is to be told of Thormod that he fared 
up along south of the river till he came to the 
Ridge. In that time south of the river was scantily 
housed. There were but few folk at home there, 
for the men were gone to Whitewater-meads, and 
the house-carles were at work. Eid was sitting 
at the chess, and his sons with him, the one hight 
Illugi, the other Eystein. Thormod tells him of 
the tidings that have befallen. There was, in those 
days and long after, a bridge over the river beside 
Biarnisforce. Eid nowise urged the journey, but his 
two sons grip their weapons and take to the way. 
The brethren go to Thorgisl of Hewerstead, and 
by then was come home Eyolf his son, who had 
come out to Iceland that same summer. 

Thormod fares up to Hallkeldstead, and comes 
thither and tells the tidings. Tind was the one 
carle at home there ; but men were come thither 
to the stithy. 

A woman dwelt next thereto who hight Thor- 

232 The Saga Library. 

finna, and was called the Skald- woman ; she dwelt 
at Thorwardstead. She had a son hight Eyolf. and 
a brother whohight Tanni, and was called the Hand- 
strong, for his might was unlike the sons of men ; 
and of like kind was Eyolf, his sister's son ; full- 
hearted in daring they were moreover. These had 
come to Tind for the smithying. But for that cause 
folk came not to Gilsbank, that Hermund was 
ridden to the ship and his house-carles with him. 

Tind and the others were four, and Thormod 
the fifth, and it was now late in the day. 

The sons of Eid came to Thorgisl the Hewer, 
and the folk there bestir them speedily, and fare 
thence six in company. Eyolf, the son of Thorgisl, 
fared with him and four others. 


Now must it be told what tidings Bardi and his 
folk see. He rideth the first of them, and some- 
what the hardest, so that a gate's space was be- 
twixt him and them ; but they rode after him some- 
what leisurely, and said that he was wondrous 

Now see they the faring of men who chase them, 
and that flock was not much less than they them- 
selves had. Then were Bardi's fellows glad, and 
thought it good that there would be a chance of 
some tale to tell of their journey. 

Then spake Bardi : " Fare we away yet a while, 
for it is not to be looked for that they will spur on 
the chase any the less." 

Then sang Eric Wide-sight a stave : 

The Heath- slay in gs Story. 233 

Now gather together the warriors renowned, 
Each one of them eager-fain after the fray. 
Now draweth together a folk that is fight-famed, 
Apace on the heathways from out of the Southland; 
But Bardi in nowise hard-counselled is bidding 
The warriors fare fast and be eager in fleeing 
The blast of the spear-storm that hitherward setteth, 
The storm of the feeders of fight from the South. 

" Now sayest thou not sooth," said Bardi ; " that 
spake I, that each should fare as he might, till we 
be come to the fighting-stead in the northernmost 
mire, which my fosterer told me we should make 
the most of." 

Nevertheless, Bardi could not get that matter 
brought on the road, and they said that they had 
been chased enow when they came to the fight-stead 
in the southern mire ; and Bardi sees that so it will 
have to be; so now he turneth to meet his folk. He 
says that he was no eagerer to ride away than they, 
" and this plot of yours shall ye pay for, whereas I 
may not let you now, that we shall not run this 
evening before ye think it high time ; and ye, or 
anyone else, shall first speak the word of not abiding, 
or ever I do." 

Now deem they right well thereover. They 
left their horses out on the ness away from them, 
and set Kollgris to heed them ; for he was no fight- 
ing-man, and was on the downhill road of life. 

Now sang Eric a stave : 

Fast hold we the field now ; let each man be moving 
Forth on to the battle that bideth us here. 
Let us the fell reddeners, the well-proven falcons, 
The shield-tearers, sniff in the wounds of the men. 
I know how to bide in my place of the battle, 
Though harder and harder the sword-storm be growing 

234 ^'^^^ Saga Library. 

That gathereth against us from fields of the South. 
Here up on the Heath let us harden the helm-rod. 

That same day withal folk went to Whitewater- 
meads to fetch Hermund, who was wending home 
again, and the messengers met him up from Thing- 
ness. There he leaveth behind all his train, and 
biddeth every man fare with him who might get 
away, and calleth all folk out, and rideth after them 


Now they come face to face, Bardi and the 
Southern men, who now got off their horses. 
Bardi's folk had arrayed them athwart the ness. 
" Go none of you forth beyond these steps," says 
Bardi, " because I misdoubt me that more men are 
to be looked for." 

The breadth of the ness went with the rank of 
the eighteen of them, and there was but one way 
of falling on them. Says Bardi : " It is most like 
that ye will get the trying of weapons ; but better 
had it been to hold the northernmost fight-stead, 
nor had any blame been laid upon us if we had so 
done ; and better had it been for the blood-feuds. 
Yet shall we not be afraid, even though we are 

There stood they with brandished weapons. On 
the one hand of Bardi stood Thorberg, and on the 
other side Gefn's-Odd, and on the other hand of 
them the brethren of Bardi. 

Now those Southern men, they fall not on so 
speedily as the others looked for, for more folk had 

The Heath-slay ings' Story. 235 

they to face than they had wotted of. The leaders 
of them were Thorgaut, Thorbiorn, and Ketil. 
Spake Thorgaut : " Wiser it were to bide more 
folk of ours ; much deeper in counsel have they 
proved, inasmuch as they came but few of them 
within the country-side." 

Now they fall not on; and when the Northern 
men see that, they take to their own devices. 
Saith Thorberg : " Is Brusi amidst the folk per- 
chance ? " He said that he was there. 

Says Thorberg: " Knowest thou perchance this 
sword, which here I hold ?" He said that he knew 
not how that should be looked for. " Or who art 
thou ? " 

" Thorberg I hight," says he ; " and this sword 
Lyng-Torfi, thy kinsman, gave to me ; thereof 
shalt thou abide many a stroke to-day, if it be as I 
will. But why fall ye not on, so boldly as ye have 
followed on to-day, as it seemeth to me, now 
running, and now riding." 

He answereth : " Maybe that is a sword I own ; 
but before we part to-day thou shalt have little 
need to taunt us." 

Then said Thorberg : " If thou art a man full- 
fashioned for fight, why wilt thou tarry for more 
odds against us ? " 

Then Bardi took up the word : " What are the 
tidings of the country-side ? " 

Said Ketil : " Tidings are such as shall seem 
good to thee, to wit, the slaying of Gisli, my 

Saith Bardi : " We blame it nowise ; and I 
deemed not that my work had been done anywise 

236 The Saga Library. 

doubtfully. Come ! deemest thou, Ketil, that thou 
and thy father have nought at all wherefor to 
avenge you on us. I mind me that it was but a 
little since thou camest home, Ketil, bearing a back 
burden, a gift in hand for thy father. Now if thou 
bearest it not in mind, here is there a token thereof, 
this same sword, to wit, not yet dry of the brains 
of him." 

And he shaketh the sword at him therewith. 

This they might not abide, so now they run on 
them. Thorbiorn leaps at Bardi, and smites him 
on the neck, and wondrous great was the clatter of 
the stroke, and it fell on that stone of the beads 
which had been shifted whenas he took the knife 
and eave it to Nial's son ; and the stone brake 
asunder, and blood was drawn on either side of the 
band, but the sword did not bite. 

Then said Thorbiorn : " Troll ! no iron will bite 
on thee." 

Now were they joined in battle together, and 
after that great stroke he (Thorbiorn) turns him 
forthwith to meet Thorod, and they fall to fight 
together ; Ketil goeth against Bardi, and Thor- 
gaut against Thorberg. There lacked not great 
strokes and eggings-on. 

The Southlanders had the lesser folk, and the 
less trusty. 

Now first is to be told of the dealings betwixt 
Bardi and Ketil. Ketil was the strongest of men 
and of great heart. Long they had to do together, 
till it came to this, that Bardi slashed into the side 
of him, and Ketil fell. Then leapt Bardi unto 
Thorgaut and gave him his death-wound, and there 

The Heath- slay ings Story. 237 

they both lay low before the very weapon which 
thev owned themselves. 

Now is it to be told of Thorbiorn and Thorod. 
They fall to in another place ; and there lacked not 
for great strokes, which neither spared to the other, 
most of them being; hug-e in sooth. But one stroke 
Thorod fetched at Thorbiorn, and smote off his 
foot at the ankle-joint ; but none the less he fought 
on, and thrust forth his sword into Thorod's belly, 
so that he fell, and his gut burst out. 

But Thorbiorn, seeing how it had fared with his 
kinsmen (namely, Ketil and Thorgaut), he heeded 
nought of his life amidst these maimings. 

Now turn the sons of Gudbrand on Thorbiorn. 
He said : " Seek ye another occasion ; erst it was 
not for young men to strive with us." Therewith 
he leaps at Bardi and fights with him. Then said 
Bardi : " What ! a very troll I deem thee, whereas 
thou fightest with one foot off. Truer of thee is 
that which thou spakest to me." 

" Nay," quoth Thorbiorn, " nought of trollship is 
it for a man to bear his wounds, and not to be so 
soft as to forbear warding him whiles he may. 
That may be accounted for manliness rather ; and 
so shouldst thou account it, and betroll men not, 
whereas thou art called a true man. But this shall 
ye have to say hereof before I bow me in the grass, 
that I had the heart to make the most of weapons." 

There fell he before Bardi and won a good 

Now lacks there never onset, but it came to this 
at last, that the Southern men gave way. 

But it is told that there was a man hight Thor- 

238 The Saga Library. 

Hot, a great champion, who had his abode at 
Walls ; but some say that he was of Sleybrook : 
he fought with Eric Wide-sight ; and before they 
fought, Eric sang this stave : 

O warrior that reddenest the war-brand thin-whetted, 
'Tis the mind of us twain to make shields meet together 
In the wrath of the war-fray. O bider of Wall-stead, 
Now bear we no ruth into onset of battle. 
O hider of hoards of the fire that abideth 
In the fetter of earth, I have heard of thine heart, 
High-holden, bepraised amongst men for its stoutness ; 
And now is the time that we try it together. 

They had to do a long while, and that say men 
that scarce might braver men be seen ; for either of 
them was of the biggest and strongest of men, deft 
in weapons, and dauntless of heart. Now Eric hews 
at Thorliot with his sword, and it brake asunder, 
but he catches a hold of the point and hews at him, 
and gives him a great wound, and he fell. 


Now is there somewhat of a lull ; but therewith 
were seen six men a-ridino^ : there were Thor^isl 
the Hewer, and Eyolf his son, and the sons of Eid. 
They see the evil plight of their folk, and that their 
lot was sinking much, and they were ill content 

Now the sons of Gudbrand were ware that there 
was Eyolf, and they crave leave of Bardi to take 
his life and avenge them. For it had befallen, that 
whenas they were east-away he had thrust them 
from a certain gallery down into a muck-pit, and 

The Heat k-s layings' Story. 239 

therein they had fared shamefully ; so they would 
now avenge them ; and they had made this journey 
with Bardi from the beginning that they might get 
the man. 

Said Bardi : " Ye are doughty men, and of 
much worth, and much teen it were if ye were 
cast away. Still, I will see to it that your will have 
its way ; but I will bid you go not from out the 
ranks." But they might not withhold themselves, 
and they run off to meet him eagerly, and they fall 
to fight. Eyolf was the greatest of champions, 
and a man of showy ways, like his father before 
him ; full-fashioned of might, well proven in on- 
slaught ; and the battle betwixt them was long and 
hard ; and suchwise it ended, that either was so 
wilful and eager, and so mighty of heart and hand, 
that they all lay dead at their parting. 

Fast fought the sons of Eid withal, and go 
forward well and warrior-like ; against them fought 
Stein and Steingrim, and now they all fight and 
do a good stroke of work ; and there fall the sons 
of Eid, and Bardi was standing hard by, when 
they lost their lives. 

Thorgisl the Hewer spared nought ; he deemed 
great scathe wrought him by the death of his son. 
He was the mightiest man of his hands, and defter 
of weapons than other m.en. He heweth on either 
hand and deemeth life no better than death. 

These are most named amongst the foremost 
herein, to wit, Thorgisl and Eric and Thorod. 

Thorgisl spared him nought, and there was no 
man of the country who seemed to all a way- 
fellow of more avail than he. Thorgisl (son of 

240 The Saga Library. 

Hermund, brother of Thorod) betook him to meet 
him ; and they dealt long together, nor was either 
of them lacking in hardihood. Now Thorgisl 
(Hermundson) smites a stroke on him down his 
nose from the brow, and said : 

" Now hast thou gotten a good mark befitting 
thee ; and even such should more of you have." 

Then spake Thorgisl (the Hewer) : " Nought 
good is the mark ; yet most like it is, that I shall 
have the heart to bear it manfully ; little have ye 
yet to brag over." And he smote at him so that 
he fell and is now unfightworthy. 

N ow was there a lull for a while, and men bind 
their wounds. 

Now is seen the riding of four men, and there 
was Tind and Tanni, Eyolf and Thormod ; and 
when they came up they (t^^ on much ; and they 
themselves were of championship exceeding great ; 
and battle was joined the third time. 

Tanni fell on against Bardi, and there befell 
fight of wondrous daring. 

Tanni hewed at him, and it fell out as before, 
that Bardi is hard to deal with, and the business 
betwixt them ended herewith, that Tanni fell be- 
fore Bardi. 

Eyolf went against Odd, and they fight, each 
of them the best of stout men. Now Eyolf 
smiteth at Odd, and it came on to his cheek 
and on to his mouth, and a great wound was 

Then spake Eyolf: "Maybe the widow will 
think the kissing of thee worsened." 

Odd answereth : " Lone hath it been not over 

The Heath-slayings Story. 241 

good, and now must it be much spoilt forsooth ; 
yet it may be that thou wilt not tell thereof to thy 

And he smote at him, so that he gat a great 

Here it befell as of the rest, that Bardi was 
standing hard by, and did him scathe. 

Withal Thormod Thorgautson was a bold man, 
and went well forward. Eyolf of Burg fared 
against him, and got a sore hurt. 

Now though these abovesaid be the most 
named amongst the Northlanders, yet all of them 
fared forth well and in manly wise, whereas they 
had a chosen company. 

So when these were fallen there was a lull in 
the battle. And now Thorberg spake that they 
should seek to get away ; but eight men from the 
South were fallen, and three from the North. Now 
Bardi asks Thorod if he thought he would have 
the might to fare with them, and he gave out there 
was no hope thereof, and bids them ride off. 

Now Bardi beheld his hurt, and therewithal they 
saw the band that now fared up from the South 
like a wood to look upon. So Bardi asks if they 
be minded to bide, but they said they would ride 
off; and so they did, and were now sixteen in 
company, and the more part of them wounded. 


Now it is to be told of Illugi that he cometh 
upon the field of deed, and seeth there things un- 
locked for, and great withal. Then sang Tind 

II. R 

242 The Saga Library. 

a song when lUugi asked how many they had 
been : 

The stem of the battle-craft here was upbearing 

His spear-shaft with eight and with ten of the ash-trees 

That bear about ever the moon of the ocean ; 

With us five less than thirty men were they a-fighting. 

But nine of the flingers of hail of the bow, 

Yea, nine of our folk unto field there have fallen, 

And surely meseemeth that dead they are lying, 

Those staves of the flame by the lathe that is fashioned. 

Of the North the two cravers of heirship from Eid 
In the field are they fallen as seen is full clearly, 
And Gudbrand's two sons they fell there moreover, 
Where the din of the spear-play was mighty mid men. 
But never henceforward for boot are we biding ; 
Unless as time weareth the vengeance befall. 
Now shall true folk be holding a mind of these matters, 
As of sword-motes the greatest ere fought amongst men. 

[Here a page in the old record is so obscure, as 
to leave readable only bits here and there, from 
which one gleans so much as that someone of 
Illugi's company saw where Thorod lay wounded, 
yet still alive, and forthwith went up to him and 
smote off his head. When Illugi was aware of 
this, he said he had had but an evil errand thither 
in slaying the man. Then Illugi with a band of 
one hundred men gives chase to Bardi and his 
folk. But he is overtaken by a sudden darkness, 
and bids his folk return, and brings to the South 
the bodies of the fallen. Many were wounded of 
the men of the South : those Gislungs Arni Frodi, 
Thormod, and Thorarin very sorely. In hope of 
entrapping the Northerners if they should return to 
fetch their dead, Illugi left a band of men to watch 

The Heath-slayings Story. 243 

the bodies, who rigged up a tent for themselves, 
and kept guard there for a while. Bardi went 
with his company first to Nial, and thence to his 
foster-father, Thorarin of Lechmote, and tells him 
privily the news of his journey, giving out that he 
was minded now to go fetch the bodies of the 
fallen. But Thorarin counselled him to wait a 
while, for he guessed that the Southerners would 
tire of the watch. And even as he guessed so the 
matter befell, that they wearied of the watch upon 
the bleak mountain, and returned to their homes. 

Next the story has told how Bardi sought aid 
from friends and neighbours in household needs, 
that he might maintain a bodyguard at Asbiorn's- 
ness against the Southerners gathering men to 
beset him in his house. In this matter his wife 
Gudrun sought to prevail with her father to come 
bounteously to Bardi's aid, but he hung back, and 
the unbroken tale begins again when Bardi has gone 
himself to his father-in-law to urge the matter.] 
" Biorn," says he, " how much wilt thou add to my 
store of slaughtered meat, if I eke my household 
in some way } " 

Spake Thorbiorn : " Nought will I add thereto, 
because nought is due from me." So other folk 
busied themselves about the matter with Biorn, 
but could get nothing good out of him. 

Bardi said : " Then neither will have aught 
good of the matter, and they will have to pay on 
whom the worser lot falleth ; but I shall do that 
whereby thou shalt be most dishonoured." And 
therewithal Bardi nameth witnesses, and gives forth 
that he putteth from him Gudrun, Biorn's daughter 

244 T^^^ Saga Library. 

" and for this cause," says Bardi, " that thou art by 
a great deal too much of a miser for any doughty 
man to put up with having thee for a father-in-law ; 
nor shalt thou ever have back from me either dower 
or jointure." 


Now they hear a great din, in that many men 
ride to the river. Here was come Thorgisl Arason, 
having journeyed from the North-country from 
his bridal ; in his company was Snorri the Priest, 
and eighty men together they rode. 

Then said Bardi : " Let us drop our visors, and 
ride we into their band, but never more than one 
at a time, and then they will find out nothing, seeing 
that it is dark." 

So Bardi rideth up to Snorri the Priest, having 
a mask over his face, and hath talk with him while 
they cross the ford, and tells him the tidings. And 
as they ride out of the river Snorri the Priest took 
up the word, and said : 

" Here let us bait, Thorgisl, and tarry and talk 
together, before we betake ourselves to quarters 
for the night" Bardi and his were riding beside 
the company, and folk heeded it not. Thorgisl 
was minded in the evening for Broadlairstead. 

Now when they had sat down, spake Snorri : 
" I am told, Thorgisl," says he, " that no man can 
set forth as well as thou the speech of truce and 
other in law matters." 

" That is a tale that goeth not for much," says 

The Heath-slaymgs Story. 245 

" Nay," says Snorri, "there must be much therein, 
since all men speak in one way thereof." 

Thorgisl answers : " Truly there is nothing in it 
that I deliver the speech of truce better than other 
men, though it may be good in law notwithstand- 

Says Snorri : "■ I would that thou wouldst let me 
hear it." 

He answers: "What need is there thereof? 
Are any men here at enmity together ? " 

He said he knew nought thereof, "but this can 
never be a misdoing ; so do as I will." 

So Thorgisl said it should be so, and there- 
withal he fell to speaking : 

" This is the beginning of our speech of truce, 
that God may be at peace with us all ; so also 
shall we be men at peace between ourselves and 
of good accord, at ale and at eating, at meets and 
at man-motes, at church-goings and in king's house ; 
and wherever the meetings of men befall, we shall 
be so at one as if enmity had never been between 
us. Knife we shall share and shorn meat, yea, 
and all other things between us, even as friends and 
not foes. Should henceforth any trespass happen 
amongst us, let boot be done, but no blade be red- 
dened. But he of us who tramples on truce settled, 
or fights after full troth given, he shall be so far 
wolf-driven and chased, as men furthest follow up 
wolves. Christian men churches seek, heathen men 
their temples tend, fires flare up, earth grows green, 
son names a mother's name, ships sail, shields 
glitter, sun shines, snow wanes. Fin skates, fir 
groweth, a falcon flieth the springlong day with 

246 The Saga Library. 

wind abaft under both his wings standing, as 
heaven dwindles, the world is peopled, wind 
waxeth, water sheds to sea, and carles sow corn. 

"He shall shun churches and Christian men, 
God's houses and men's, and every home but 

" Each one of us taketh troth from the other for 
himself and his heirs born and unborn, begotten 
and not begotten, named and not named, and each 
one giveth in turn troth, life troth, dear troth, yea, 
main troth, such as ever shall hold good while mold 
and men be alive. 

" Now are we at one, and at peace wheresoever 
we meet on land or on water, on ship or on snow- 
shoe, on high seas or horseback : 

Oars to share, 
Or bailing-butt, 
Thoft or thole plank 
If that be needful. 

So at one with one another, as a son with his 
father, or father with son, in all dealings together. 
Let us now give hands to the speech of truce, and 
hold we well to our truce even as Christ wills it, 
witness thereto all those men who now have hear- 
kened the speech of truce. Let him have the 
grace of God who holdeth the truce, but him 
have God's grame who riveth rightful truce. 
Hail us that we are appeased, but God be at peace 
with all." 

The Heath-slayings Story. 247 


And when Thorgisl had done giving out the 
words of truce, Snorri spoke : " Have thanks, 
friend ; right well hast thou spoken, and it is clear 
enough that he who trespasseth thereagainst is 
truly a truce-breaker, most especially if he be here 
present." And now Snorri tells the tidings which 
had befallen, and also this, that Bardi and his men 
had Gome into the band of Thorgisl and those 
with him. 

In that band there were many friends and close 
kindred of the men of the South ; moreover, Thor- 
gisl had aforetime had for wife Grima, the daughter 
of Halkel, and sister of Illugi the Black. 

Then said Thorgisl : " For this once we might 
well have done without thee, Snorri." 

He answers : " Say not so, good friend; troubles 
between men have now grown full great, though 
here they be stayed." 

So now Thorgisl would not go against the 
truce which he himself had bespoken, and so folk 
parted asunder. 

Snorri rode away with a company of twenty 
men to Lechmote, and Bardi and his folk were 
witii him, and Thorarin received them well, and 
cheery of mood they were and bespoke their 

[Here a lacuna of one leaf in the old MS. inter- 
rupts the story, which begins again when, appa- 
rently at the Althing, the affairs of Bardi were 
settled at law.] 

248 The Saga Library. 


Then stands up an old man, Eid Skeggison 
to wit, and said : " We like it ill that men should 
bandy words about here, whether it be done 
by our men or others ; to nought good will 
that come, while often evil proceedeth there- 
from. It behoveth men here to speak what may 
tend to peace. I am minded to think that not 
another man among us has more to miss, nor that 
on any, much greater grief hath been brought 
than on me; yet a wise counsel do I deem 
it to come to peace, and therefore I shall have 
no ruth on anyone bandying words about here. 
Moreover, it is most likely now, as ever, that it 
will only come to evil if folk will be casting words 
of shame at each other." 

He got good cheer for his speech. And now 
men search about for such as be likeliest for the 
peacemaking. Snorri is most chiefly spoken of as 
seeking to bring about the peace. He was then 
far sunk in age. Another such was Thorgisl, the 
friend of Snorri, for their wives were sisters. Now 
both sides did it to wit that matters should be put 
to award, and the pairing of man to man ; though 
erst folk had been sore of their kinsmen. 

Now we know no more to tell thereof than that 
the fallen were paired man to man, and for the 
award Snorri was chosen on behalf of Bardi, to- 
gether with Gudmund, the son of Eyolf, while 
Thorgisl, the son of Ari, and Illugi, were appointed 
on behalf of the Southerners. So they fell to talk- 
ing over the matter between them, as to what 

The Heath-slaying:> Story. 249 

would most likely lead to peace. And it seemed 
good to them to pair men together in this wise : 

The sons of Eid and the sons of Gudbrand were 
evened, as was also Thorod, the son of Hermund, 
and Thorbiorn. But now as to Hall Gudmundson, 
the Burgfirthers thought the mangild for him was 
pushed too far, so they drew off, and broke the 
peace ; yet they knew that Bardi had set his heart 
on that matter. But of the close thereof this is to 
be told, that the sons of Thorgaut, Ketil and Gisli, 
were paired against Hall Gudmundson. In all there 
were nine lives lost of the Southerners, and now 
four from the North have been set off against five 
Gislungs ; for nought else would like the kinsmen 
of Bardi because of the disparity of kin there was. 

Then matters were talked over with both sides 
as to what next was most like to do. There were 
now four Southernmen unatoned, Thorgisl to wit, 
and Eyolf his son, Tanni the Handstrong, and 
Eyolf, his sister's son. 

Now Bardi declared that he was no man of 
wealth any more than his brothers or their kindred, 
" nor do we mean to claim money in atonement on 
our side." 

Answered Snorri : " Yet it behoveth not, that 
neither fine nor outlawry come about." Bardi said 
he would not gainsay that people should go abroad, 
so that they were free to come back again, nor 
that then all the more of them should fare. " Yet 
one there is who cannot fare ; for him let fee 
be yolden, though it may hap that ye deem ye 
have some guilt to square with him. My fellow 
Gris will not be found to be bitten by guilt." 

250 The Saga Library. 

Hesthofdi, who now dwells at the place called 
Stead in Skagafirth, who was a kinsman of his, 
took him in. 

So matters came about, that on this they made 
peace, as they were most willing to agree to men 
faring abroad. Now this was deemed to be about 
the only boot to be got, since Bardi might not 
bite at fines ; they hoped, too, that thereby un- 
peace would somewhat abate, and on the other 
hand they deemed no less honour done to 
themselves by their having to be abroad. By 
wise men it was deemed most like to allay their 
rage, so great as it was, if for a while they should 
not be living within one and the same land. 

Fourteen of the men who had had share in the 
H eath-slaughters were to fare abroad, and be abroad 
for three winters, and be free to come back in the 
third summer, but no money should be found for 
their faring. 

Thus were men appeased on these matters with- 
out taking them into court. And so it was ac- 
counted that Bardi and those who came forth for 
his avail had had the fuller share, for as hopeless 
as it had seemed for a while. 


Now Bardi sends men into the country-side. He 
and his had got rid of their land and stock in case 
this should be the end of the matter ; the which 
they could not surely tell beforehand. The 
messenger was hight Thorod, and was by-named 
Kegward, not beloved of folk ; he was to have 

The Heath-slayings Story. 25 1 

three winters ; he was akin to the sons of Gud- 
mund, wealthy in chattels withal. And now the 
purchase of their lands as aforesaid was all but 

Now there cometh withal a ship from the high 
seas into the mouth of Blanda, which was the keel 
of Hal dor, Bardi's foster-brother. 

Therewithal folk came back from the Thing, 
and when Haldor hears that Bardi must needs go 
abroad, he has the freight of the craft unshipped, 
and brings himself, ship and all, up into the Hope 
over against Bardi's house, and a joyful meeting 
was theirs. 

" Kinsman," says Haldor, " ever hast thou 
handled matters well as concerning me ; thou hast 
often been bounteous to me, nor didst thou wax 
wrath on me when I did not go with thee on 
that journey of thine, so therefore I will now 
promise thee some avail in return, as now thou 
shalt hear : this ship will I give thee with yard 
and gear." 

Bardi thanked him, saying he deemed he had 
done the deed of a great man. So now he dights 
this craft, and has with him five-and-twenty men. 
Somewhat late they were bound for sea ; then put off 
to the main, and are eleven days out at sea ; but 
in such wise their faring befell that they wreck 
their ship against Sigluness in the north, and goods 
were lost, but the men saved. 

Gudmund the Elder had ridden out to Galma- 
strand, and heareth the tidings and hasteneth 
homeward. And in the evening spake Eyolf, his 
son : " Maybe it is Bardi yonder on the other side, 

252 Th-e Saga Library. 

that we see from here." Many said it was not 

"Now how wouldst thou go about it?" says 
Eyolf, even he, "if it should hap that he had 
been driven back here ? " 

He answers : "What seemeth good to thee ? " 

He answers : " To bid them all home here to 
guesting. Meet were that." 

Gudmund answers : " Large of mind thou, nor 
wot I if that be altogether so ill counselled." 

Answers Eyolf, even he : " Speak thou, hailest 
of men ! Now I can tell thee that Bardi, he 
and his, have been driven back, and broken to 
splinters against Sigluness, and have lost the best 
part of their goods. From this thou wilt have 

So he closed his mouth ; but Gudmund thought 
he liked the matter none the better for that, yet 
lets him have his will. 


So Eyolf dights him for the journey, and goes 
with five-and-twenty horses to meet them, and 
happens on them on Galmastrand. He greets 
them well, and bids them go home with him, by 
the will of his father. 

They did so, and there they had to themselves 
the second bench throughout the winter ; and Gud- 
mund was cheery to them, and did to them after 
the fashion of a great man and well. And that 
was widely rumoured. 

Einar, the son of Jarnskeggi, often bids them go 

The Heat k-s layings' Story. 253 

to his house and stay with him. And thus now 
they are right happy. 

Now we have to bring to mind, that it was 
Thorarin's rede that with Bardi there were men 
who were of great worth and had much to fall back 
upon. And they now sent to the west for their 
moneys, being still bent on faring abroad in the 


Some time that winter it befell that there was 
one who asked Eric the Skald as to what had be- 
fallen, and how many lives had been lost. He 
sang : 

Famed groves of the race-course whereon the sword runneth, 

All up on the Heath 'twas eleven lay dead 

In the place where the lime-board, the red board of battle, 

Went shivering to pieces midst din of the shields. 

And thereof was the cause of the battle, that erewhile 

It was Gisli fell in with his fate and his ending 

In the midst of the fray of the fire of the fight : 

'Gainst the wielder of wound-shaft we thrust forth the onslaught. 

And still here is a witness that at this time the 
asking had been put forth as to how many had 
fallen of each : 

Three stems of the stall whereon lieth the serpent, 
It was even so many that fell of our men, 
And the full tale of them that came out of the Northland ; 
The fish of the fight-board in wounds have we reddened. 
But nine is the number of those that have fallen 
Of the tholes of the fire of the witch-song of Fiolnir, 
From out of the Southland, that fell on the Heath, 
Befell to the men there grim gale of the battle. 

254 The Saga Library. 

Then people fell a-talking, saying that greatly 
had the weight of the slaughter fallen into the 
band of the Southmen. Then sang he a song : 

It was Stir the swift-speeding, and Snorri moreover, 
Who summoned the sword-mote, and let it be holden, 
Whereas they, the Gods of the spear of the battle. 
Made a fate over-heavy for the kindred of Gisli. 
But yet little less was the shard of the kindred 
That afterwards Bardi carved out with his weapon 
From the men of the Southland, the feeders of fight ; 
For the fight-folk of Gisli there fell beyond measure. 


Now Bardi's fellows took their money and made 
them ready for faring abroad with a goodly deal 
of wealth. 

Bardi and his brethren sent a word to say that 
they will have their lands to sell them, for they 
deem that they are in need of chattels. But he 
(Thorolf Kegward) would not give up the land, 
and claims that the bargain should stand even as 
it was erst purposed. So that now they must 
either forego their money or slay him. 

Now Eyolf (Gudmundson) says he will hand 
over to them as much money as the land is 
worth, and that he will himself see to further 
dealings with Eyolf of Burg, and declareth that 
that summer he shall have him either killed 
or driven out of the lands, and made himself the 
owner thereof 

Now Bardi buys a ship which stood up in 
Housewick ; and then he went abroad, and Eyolf 

The Heaths layings Story. 255 

saw them off with all honour, and now, this time, 
they fared well, and Bardi cometh up from the main 
north in Thrandheim-bay into the Cheaping, and 
has his ship drawn up and well done to withal. 

At that time King Olaf the Holy ruled over 
Norway, and was now at the cheaping-stead. 
Bardi and his fellows went before the king, and 
they greeted the king well, even as beseemed, 
" and this is the way with us, lord," says Bardi, 
"that we would fain be of thy winter-guests." 

The king answers in this way : " We have had 
news of thee, Bardi," says he, " that thou art a 
man of great kin, a mighty man of thine hands ; 
moreover, that ye are doughty men, that ye have 
fallen in with certain great deeds, and have wreaked 
your wrongs, yet waited long before so doing. 
Howbeit ye have still some ancient ways about 
you, and such manner of faith as goeth utterly 
against my mind. Now for the reason that I have 
clean parted from such things, our will is not to 
take you in ; yet shall I be thy friend, Bardi," says 
he, " for methinks that some great things may be 
in store for thee. But it may often befall to those 
who fall in with suchlike matters, should they 
grow to be over-weighty to deal with, then if there 
be certain ancient lore blended therewith, therein 
are men given to trow overmuch." 

Then spake Bardi: " No man there is," says he, 
" whom I would rather have for a friend than thee, 
and thanks we owe thee for thy words." 

Now that winter long Bardi had his abode in 
the town, and all men held him of good account. 
But the next spring he dights his ship for Den- 

256 The Saga Library. 

mark, and there he was for another winter, and 
was well beholden withal, though tidings be not 
told thereof. 

Thereafter he dights his ship for Iceland, and 
they came out upon the north of the land, and were 
in great straits for money. 

By this time Gudmund was dead, and Eyolf 
came to see them and bid them come to his house, 
and anon each went to his own, all being now 

Eyolf gave up to Bardi and his brethren their 
lands inherited from their father, showing forth 
again his large-heartedness as before, nor was any 
other man such avail to them as he was. 

Now Bardi betook himself to Gudbrand his 
brother-in-law, a wealthy man and of high kin 
withal, but said to be somewhat close-fisted. 

But the brethren of Bardi went to Burg, the 
southernmost, to Eyolf their brother-in-law, and 
by that time their foster-mother was dead. 

Now Eyolf redeemed all the land for the hand 
of those brothers, and buys Bardi out of his 
share, with chattels. And so the brothers now set 
up house on their father's lands, and they died 
there in old age — men of avail, though not abreast 
with the greatness of their family ; they were 
married both, and men are come from them. 


Bardi rideth to the Thing after he had been one 
winter here in the land. Then he wooed for him- 
self a wife, hight Aud, daughter of Snorri the 

The Heath-slayings Story. 257 

Priest, and betrothed to him she was, and the 
bridals were settled to be at Sselings-dale in the 
harvest tide, at the home of Snorri her father. 
It is not set forth what jointure there should go 
with her from home, though like enough it be that 
it would be a seemly portion. She was a right 
stirring woman and much beloved by Snorri. Her 
mother was Thurid, the daughter of Illugi the Red. 

Bardi rides after the Thing to Waterdale to his 
alliances, being now well content with his journey 
and having good honour of men. And things 
turned out even as wise men had foreseen, that the 
peace amongst men was well holden, even as it 
had been framed erst, nor telleth the tale that 
aught of dealings they had further together. 

Now Snorri dights the bridals in the harvest 
tide as had been settled, and a great multitude of 
folk gathered there ; bravely the banquet turned 
out as might be looked for, and there Bardi and 
his wife tarry the winter long. But in the spring 
they get them away with all their belongings, and 
as good friends they parted, Snorri and Bardi. 

Now Bardi goeth north to Waterdale, where 
he tarrieth with Gudbrand his brother-in-law. 
And in the following spring he dighteth a journey 
of his, and buyeth a ship and goeth abroad, and 
his wife with him. The tale telleth that the 
journey sped well with him, and he hove in from 
the main up against Halogaland, where the next 
winter long he dwelt in Thiotta with Svein, son 
of Harek, being well accounted of, for men deemed 
they saw in him the tokens of a great man ; so 
Svein held him dear, both him and his wife withal. 

II. s 

258 The Saga Library 


So it befell one morning, as they were both 
together in their sleeping loft, away from other 
folk, that Bardi would sleep on, but she would be 
rousing him, and so she took a small pillow and 
cast it into his face as if for sport. He threw it 
back again from him ; and so this went on sundry 
times. And at last he cast it at her and let his 
hand go with it. She was wroth thereat, and 
having gotten a stone she throweth it at him in 

So that day, when drinking was at an end, Bardi 
riseth to his feet, and nameth witnesses for him- 
self, and declareth that he is parted from Aud, 
saying that he will take masterful ways no more 
from her than from anyone else. And so fast was 
he set in this mind herein, that to bring words to 
bear was of no avail. 

So their goods were divided between them, and 
Bardi went his ways next spring, and made no 
stay in his journey till he cometh into Garthrealm, 
where he taketh warrior's wages, and becometh 
one of the Vserings, and all the Northmen held 
him of great account, and had him for a bosom- 
friend amongst themselves. 

Always, when that king's realm was to be warded, 
he is on the ways of war, gaining good renown 
from his valiance, so that he has about him always 
a great company of men. There Bardi spent three 
winters, being much honoured by the king and all 
the Vaerings. 

But once it befell, as they were out on their war- 

The Heath'Slayings' Story. 259 

galleys with an host and warded the king's realm, 
that there fell an host upon them ; there make 
they a great battle, and many of the king's men 
fell, as they had to struggle against an over- 
whelming force, though ere they fell they wrought 
many a big deed ; and therewithal fell Bardi 
amidst good renown, having used his weapons 
after the fashion of a valiant man unto death. 

Aud was married again to a mighty man, the 
son of Thorir Hound, who was hight Sigurd. 
And thence are sprung the men of Birchisle, the 
most renowned among men. 

And there endeth this story. 



Page 3, 1. 8. 
" T F ERSIR " we have left untranslated because we 
I I know no English term whereby to render it 
-*^ -^ properly. That it is derived from herr, a col- 
lective noun meaning multitude of people, cannot be 
doubted. The termination -sir is indicative of the agent, 
and here would originally point to the agent as ruler, 
commander, gatherer together. In support of this is the 
word " hersing," a collected multitude, crowd. In time 
the hersir became not only ruler of men, but a lord of the 
territory within which his herr had its habitation, which 
territory was called hera^, later h6ra^, and only in the 
capacity of such a territorial lord the historical hersir is 
known. Before the days of Harold Hairfair he appears 
to have been an independent kinglet or tribal chief, who in 
his person with the secular sway over his people combined 
the sacerdotal office of pontifex maximus. After Hairfair's 
day the hersir was reduced to a royal liegeman, and between 
him and the king there was set up a new dignity, that of 
the earl, to whom jurisdiction over so and so many hersar 
was assigned. The Icelandic Go'Si was another form of 
the hersir of Norway, but the title hersir could not be 
used, because in Iceland hera^ as a lordship with definite 
boundaries never existed ; there it merely signified 
country-side, district. Thus, while in Norway the title 
of hersir pointed especially to the secular character of 
the ruler of men in a defined hera^, in Iceland the title 
of Go^i indicated in particular such a person's sacerdotal 


The Saga Library. 

Page 4, 11. 25-30. " Ketil Flatneb gave his daughter Aud 
to Olaf the White, who at that time was the greatest 
war-king west-over- the-sea ; he was the son of Ingiald 
the son of Helgi, but the mother of Ingiald was Thora, 
the daughter of Sigurd Worm-in-eye, the son of Ragnar 
Hairy-breeks." We have here an instance of the manner 
in which Icelandic aristocrats would connect their ances- 
tors, of the period prior to the settlement, with famous 
legendary royal races, such as the Ynglings of Sweden 
and Norway, or heroes such as Ragnar Hairy-breeks, or 
Sigurd the Volsung. The descent of Olaf the White, as 
our story has it, is evidently due to Ari the Learned, 
because, so far as it goes, it agrees both with his Islend- 
ingabok, ch. 12, and with Landndma, ii., ch. 15, and, 
most probably, the notice about the mother's kindred of 
Ingiald is due to the same source, namely, the lost 
greater Islendingabok of Ari, of which the one now 
existing is confessedly an abridgment. In a contempo- 
rary Irish record, "Three Fragments" ed. by O'Donovan, 
i860, pp. 127, 195, which scholars agree in regarding 
as generally a trustworthy source for Irish history, the 
descent of Olaf is also given, and, as the following table 
shows, there is an irreconcilable discrepancy between the 
two sources : — 

Irish record. 





Icelandic records. 

Halfdan Whiteleg, Sigurd Ring, a king 
King of Upland of the Wick in Norway. 

Gudrod Ragnar Hairy-breeks 

I I 

Olaf Sigurd Worm-in-eye 

I I 

Helgi married Thora 


Olaf the White m. Aud. 

Olaf (no surname). 

By the Icelandic family-tree Aud and her numerous 

Notes. 265 

kindred in Broadfirth united in their veins all the blue 
blood of antiquity. But in that respect it is an awkward 
circumstance, that the Irish record does not know Aud 
as a wife of Olaf at all, but says that he was married to 
the daughter of King Aedh of Ireland, the successor of 
Maelsechlainn, which lady's name, however, it does not 
give. Both the great historical critics, Johannes Steen- 
strup (Normannerne, ii., 120- 121, 374-375), and 
Gustav Storm (Kritiske Bidrag til Vikingetidens His- 
toric, 119), agree in rejecting the Icelandic genealogy of 
Olaf the Dublin king, and accepting the Irish. 

Page 5, 11. 1 1-14. " He fared by the inland road north to 
Thrandheim, and when he came there, he summoned an 
eight folks' mote." This assembly consequently consisted 
of spokesmen from the eight folks (fylki), which formed 
the political as well as the geographical extent of what, 
for want of a better name, we might perhaps term the 
province of Thrandheim. These eight folks were, taken 
in order of their geographical position, from south to 
north : the folk of Orkdale (Orkdaela-fylki) ; of Gauldale 
(Gauldaela-f ) ; of Strind (Strinda-f.) ; of Stiordale (Stjor- 
daela-f ) ; of Skaun (Skeyna-f.) ; of Verdale (Verdaela-f) ; 
of Spar-biders (Sparbyggja-f ) ; of Aun (Eyna-f ). All 
these folks had their common folk-mote at the Thing of 
Eres (Eyrafting) within the site of the present city of 

Page 6, 11. 4-6. "He had the ward of Thor's temple there 
in the island, and was a great friend of Thor. And 
therefore was he called Thorolf " In all probability the 
case with Rolf had been the same as with his kinsmen, 
that, when he was dedicated to his tutelary god, his name 
was lengthened by adding Thor's name to it. His own 
son, who first was called Stein, he dedicates to Thor 
under the name of Thorstein (p. 12). Thorstein again 
had a son, called Grim, who on being given by the 
father to Thor, was named Thorgrim. That it was 
a common custom to give to children the name of a god, 
is attested to by Snorri in Ynglinga Saga, ch. 7 : " From 

266 The Saga Library. 

Odin's name was derived the name of Audunn, and in 
that manner men gave names to their sons. But by 
Thor's name is called he who hights Thorir or Thorarin, 
or other names may be added thereto, as Stein-Thor or 
Haf-Thor with alterations in sundry other ways," An- 
other record, Hauksbok, says : " Men of lore say, that 
it was the custom of ancient folk to derive the names of 
their sons or daughters from names of the gods, as 
Thorolf or Thorstein or Thorgrim from the name of 
Thor ; so he who first hight Odd was from Thor named 
Thorod, even as Thormod sang of Snorri the Priest and 
his son Odd, whom he (Snorri) called Thorod ; such, too, 
is the case with Thorberg, Thoralf, Thorleif, Thorgeir ; 
and yet more names are derived from the names of the 
gods, though most be so from that of Thor. In those 
days men were much in the wont of having two names, 
for that was thought most likely to lengthen life and 
give good luck ; even should some folk curse them by the 
name of the gods, this was held to be of no scathe since 
they had another name (to trust in)," from Biorn of 
Skardsa's Anall eptir Hauksb6k, AM. 115, 8vo., printed 
as " 2. Anhang" to Eyrbyggja Saga, ed. Vigfusson, 1864). 
If proof were wanted to show how, beyond all compari- 
son, Thor was the most popular deity with the heathen 
Icelander, a reference to the index of personal names in 
our saga, and, for that matter, in all Icelandic sagas, will 
suffice. Even in the present day Thor is, in this respect, 
beaten in the record by only one saint — St. John. 

Page 6, 1. 22. Read Ingolf Ernson. 

Page/, 11. 19-20. " They saw that two big bights cut into 
the land." We have added the word " two," which is re- 
quired both by situation and context. The edition reads : 
" sd jjeir at skarust 1 landit inn fir^ir st6rir." The older 
reading, we take it, was : "sa jjeir at skarust 1 landit inij 
fir^ir storir," and that an inadvertent scribe made of inij 
= inn ii, i.e., inn tveir (two), simply inn. Our conjecture is 
borne out by the text itself, which in line 28 says : " they " 
(the pillars) " were borne towards the westernmost firth," 

Notes. 267 

" sveif \€va\ til ens vestra fjar'Sarins," where the compa- 
rative, in connection with the definite article, makes it 
quite clear, that the westernmost firth was one of two 
firths already mentioned in the text. This is also proved 
by the position of the ship. It must have been on the 
latitude of Snowfellness ; it had passed Reekness, the 
southern boundary of Faxebay, and now had in view the 
mountain ranges which formed the southern and northern 
littoral of Broadfirth. These two are the only big bights 
that cut into western Iceland, and no other bight or bay 
could be seen from on board Thorolf 's ship. 

Page 7, 11. 21-23. " Thorolf cast overboard the pillars of 
his high-seat . . . and on one of them was Thor carven." 
This is a general custom with the oldest settlers of Ice- 
land while the island was still altogether, or to a great 
extent, a no man's land ; but among the later settlers it 
gave way to other methods of land-take, when land was 
obtained under one form or another of contract. Ingolf 
Ernson, the first settler, set the example, and so strong 
was his faith in the fortune that would be in store for his 
kindred if he settled where his high-seat pillars should 
come aland, that for three years he searched for them, 
and having passed through the best parts of the southern 
country, did not hesitate to plant his abode on the barren 
ness where, at last, the pillars were found (Landnama, 
i. 7-8). It is even related that a settler hearing, after ten 
or fifteen years, of the discovery of his high-seat pillars 
at the opposite end of the land, sold his estates, and took 
up his abode where they were found, though that was 
within the land-take of another settler (Landnama, ib.). 
Hallstein, son of Thorolf Mostbeard, who came to Ice- 
land before he had become a householder (ch. vi.), and 
therefore had no high-seat pillars to plant in a new house 
of his own, made a vow to Thor, the family god, that he 
would deign to send him " high-seat pillars," whereupon 
a tree drifted upon his land which was " sixty-three ells 
long and two fathoms round," and out of that he made 
high-seat pillars for himself, and supplied material for 

268 The Saga Library. 

the same to " almost every house throughout the by- 
firths," the firths that cut into the northern littoral of 
Broadfirth (Landndma, ii. 23). There is a large number 
of instances relating to the high-seat pillars in connection 
with land-take in Iceland which we cannot enumerate 
here. Let it suffice to refer the reader especially to 
the Landnamabok (Ingimund the Old, iii. 2 ; Crow- 
(Kraku-)Hreidar, iii. 7 ; Lodmund the Old, iv. 5 ; 
Thorhad the Old, iv. 6 ; Hrollaug Rognwaldson, iv. 9, 
etc.), and for the solitary instance of a chief buried at sea 
on the voyage to Iceland, performing the function of 
Thor's pillars, to Egilsaga, ch. xxvii. 

The high-seat itself (ondvegi) was at this time arrayed 
in the middle of one of the side-benches of the hall ; 
there was the chieftain's seat proper, on the nobler bench 
(ondvegi a ae^ra bekk), and the high-seat on the less 
noble bench (ondvegi a uae^ra bekk), each facing the 
other. Of the term " ondvegi " no satisfactory etymo- 
logy has yet been found, nor is likely to be, until a mis- 
conception of long standing concerning the position of 
the wall against which it had its place is removed. In 
the story of Olaf the Quiet, King of Norway, 1066-93, it 
is stated, that in his day the high-seat in Norwegian halls 
was removed from the side wall to the dais at the inner 
gable end. The sagaman adds, that heretofore the high- 
seat proper, or the king's seat, always must "face the 
sun " (Fornmannasogur, vi. 439-40). From this it has 
been inferred that the high-seat always was on the 
northern side-bench of a hall, and that inference pro- 
ceeds from the idea that the hall always turned east and 
west, which is obviously out of question. The front of a 
hall was always that one of its side-walls on which were 
the two doors with which halls with the high-seats on 
the side-benches were furnished. Built on the sea or 
lake shore, on the bank of a river, or on the underland 
of valleys, the front of the hall ran parallel with the line 
of the shore, and the course of the running water, and, 
where these determinating causes were not present, with 



the line of the highway. Consequently, its front could 
face at a right angle any point of the compass, whereby 
then it is given that with the high-seat bench the case was 
the same. In a sword-age, when halls were built just as 
much for defensive purposes as for the comfort of the 
inmates, it stands obviously to reason, that the chief's 
seat should be planted where he could most easily com- 
mand the view of the two weakest points of his strong- 
hold, the two doors. That point was the middle seat 
on the bench which ran along the wall that was opposite 
to that through which the doors led into the hall. On that 
bench, therefore, we take it, the high-seat was always 
found. This diagram shows the position of the high- 
seat, and its bearing towards the doors. 




less noble high-seat ^^^^^ 

With regard to the derivation of " ondvegi " we can offer 
but a slight hint : " ond " may be the term " ond " = porch, 
entrance hall, or the mutated adv. " and-" = against, oppo- 
site (so the Oxford Dictionary), as in " ond-ver"Sr," on- 
ward ; "vegi," which sometimes goes into "ugi," as "verSr " 
into " ur^r," seems to be a collective neuter, formed from 
"vegr," way (cf, -menni from mann-, -jjy^i from )?j6?, 
birki, bjork, etc., etc.), and should thus mean "ways." 
If we suppose that here, as in innumerable other in- 
stances in Icelandic, the noun which everyone had always 
in mind in speaking, was left out, namely, " saeti," seat, so 
that "ondvegi" stood instead of "ondvegis saeti," then we 

270 The Saga Library, 

should have a perfectly intelligible expression for the seat, 
Korc iioy)\v, where the two ways met that lead up to the 
chief from either " ond " or door. 

Page 8, 1. II. "Thorolf fared with fire through his 
land." See vol. i., xliv-xlvi. 

Page 8, 1. 13. " Which is now called Thorsriver ; " so 
the old edition. We now prefer the reading of the last 
edition : " Which he called." 

Page 8, 1. 14. " Settled his shipmates there." The 
original expression, " byg'Si far skipverjum si'num," is 
more technical : he gave lands to his crew, whom he 
made his tenants. For an exhaustive account of the 
various relations between various kinds of tenants and 
their land-settling landlords, see K. Maurer, Entstehung 
des isiandischen Staats. 

Page 9, 11. 16-19. " That fell he called Holy Fell, and 
trowed that thither he should fare when he died and all 
his kindred from the ness." This belief in an earthly 
paradise after death seems to have been chiefly con- 
fined to the Broadfirth folk. The Landnama, on the 
authority of the lost saga of Thord the Yeller, records 
that the kindred of Aud the Deep-minded shared this 
belief with the Thorsnessings. " She worshipped at 
Cross-knolls, where she had crosses raised up because 
she was baptized and truly Christian. Her kindred 
afterwards had great worship for those knolls, and a 
temple was reared there when the service of sacrifice 
began to be done, and they trowed that they would die 
into the knolls, and therein was Thord the Yeller laid 
(buried) before he ^ took up his chiefship as is told in his 
story." — Landn. ii. 16, p. 11 1. Of Sel-Thorir, too, who, 

^ This "he" must refer to Thord the Yeller's son, Eyolf the 
Gray, and the Landndma passage must owe its senseless statement 
to the fact that the scribe did not know the sense of leiSa = to bury, 
which, however, is a well-estabhshed one, e.g., Steinar's burying of 
his slave, Grani : " Steinar leiddi hann I'ar upp ( holtunum" = 
Steinar buried him there up in = among the hillocks. — Egilsaga, 
ch. 84. His story, of course, means Thord the YcHcr's saga. 

Notes. 27 1 

on his journey for the family abode which a mermaid 
had ordered to be planted where Thorir's mare, Skalm, 
should lie down under her loads, had lived for a year 
among the Broadfirth settlers, the Landn. (ii. 5) says, 
that he and his heathen kindred died into the Rocks of 
Thor (jjorsbjorg). See note to p. ^y, 1. 24. 

Page 10, 11. 19-20. "They called him Biorn the 
Easterner." We have rendered "hinn austraeni " by 
" easterner " as the nearest term we could think of. But 
it does not express the full sense of " austraenn " here. 
Biorn found fault with his kinsmen for having changed 
their old faith for Christianity, and was so disgusted 
therewith that he had no heart to abide among them. 
This was the cause of their conferring on him the nick- 
name, as the saga expressly states. Vigfusson, in Timatal, 
224, supposes the reason of the giving of the surname 
to have been, that he alone of his kindred was left for 
some time behind in Norway ; but there is no need of 
that explanation in face of the clear record of the story. 
The sense of " austraenn," therefore, is Easterner, in the 
sense of Eastern-minded, wilfully clinging to Eastern 
follies (of Paganism) ; -raenn, therefore, conveys in this 
name the same sense as -raenn in einraenn, self-willed, 
whimsical, in both ancient and modern use of the 

Page 16, 11. 21-22. " Thord the Yeller ... he was akin 
to the Kiallekings, but closely allied to Thorstein (Cod- 
biter)." How he was otherwise related to the Kial- 
lekings than by affinity we do not see. His wife, Alfdis 
of Barra, was the daughter of Konal, who was second 
cousin to Thorgrim the Priest, son of Kiallak the Old 
(as we learn from Landn. ii. 11, 19, cf. Gretti's Saga, ch. 3) : 
Olvir Bairncarle, his sister Ondott 

. I I 

Steinmod Astrid, m. to Kiallak the Old. 

I I 

Konal Thorgrim the Priest. 

Alfdis, m. to Thord the Yeller. 

272 The Saga Library. 

But Thord the Yeller was Thorstein Codbiter's brother- 
in-law. See the genealogy of the Thorsnessings. 

Page 17,11. 24-27. " ThorgrimKiallakson should uphold 
the temple half at his own costs, and answer for half the 
temple toll, and the Thingmen the other half." The 
original reads : " borgrimr Kjallaksson skyldi halda upp 
hofinu at helmingi ok hafa halfan hoftoll, ok sva fing- 
menn at helmingi." The passage is somewhat obscure 
and the translation scarcely quite to the point, the words 
" answer for " being better altered to " have " simply. 
The temple was, of course, that Thor's temple of which 
Thorstein Codbiter was the hereditary " go^i," priest. 
But now Thorgrim Kiallakson is evidently made a joint 
" go^i " or temple priest of it with Thorstein. This 
cannot mean anything but that, in order to appease his 
rivalry with Thorstein, Thord the Yeller raised him to the 
dignity of a chief with half a share in the sacerdotal 
duties and privileges at Thorsness. For this purpose he 
was to "have" half the temple toll, cf p. 94: "To that 
temple must all men pay toll," etc. This only seems to 
mean, that one half of the temple toll which formerly had 
been paid to Thorstein by his Thingmen, should hence- 
forth be paid to Thorgrim by the men of the go'Sor'S or 
chiefship, which Thord the Yeller now created in his 

Page 18, 11. 24-27. " Withal he let make a homestead on 
the ness near to where had been the Thing. That home- 
stead ... he gave afterwards to Thorstein the Swart." 
This house has been, no doubt justly, identified by Vig- 
fusson and Kalund as that which now stands on the 
north-eastern side of Thorsness and bears the name of 
Thingvales (j^ingvellir, Thingwall). — Kalund, Beskr. i. 
441-442, and footnote. It would then seem, that the 
house reared for Thorstein the Swart was planted in the 
neighbourhood of the new Thing. This would require 
some alteration in our text to indicate that the site was 
where " the Thing had been moved to," because the 
words cannot refer to the old Thing-wall, which doubtless 

Notes. 273 

must have been on the western side of the ness, on 
or near the shore of Temple-creek. The immediate sur- 
roundings of the present house of ThingvelHr are still 
thickly studded with ruins of old booths from the second 
Thorsness Thing. — Kalund, I.e. 

Page 20, 1. 5. " Now Thorgrim slew Vestein Vestein- 
son," etc. Thorgrim was married to Thordis, the sister 
of Gisli Surson, who himself was married to Aud, the 
sister of Vestein, whose foster-brother, moreover, Gisli 
was, and therefore in honour bound to avenge him, no 
matter at what cost. 

Page 21, 1. 2. " Sealriver head " (Brimlar hof^i) ; ours 
is, no doubt, not a good rendering of the Icelandic 
original. Of course Brimlar can, as far as the form goes, 
be a syncopated genitive sing, of "brimla-a" = seals* 
river, " brimill " = seal. But apparently there is no 
river on the spot to warrant the rendering. It is very 
likely that Dr. Kalund is right in deriving the name 
from " brim " = surf, and " la," a wave, according to which 
it might be rendered Surfhead. 

Page 22, last line. " There was come Eyolf the Gray, 
a kinsman of Bork," etc. They were first cousins : 

Olaf Feilan 

Thord the Yeller Thora (see geneal. of Thorsnessings) 

I ' — I 1 

Eyolf the Gray. Bork Thorgrim. 

Eyolf had avenged on Gisli the slaughter of a man who 
was his own first cousin, Bork's brother, and the first 
husband of Bork's wife, who herself was Gisli's sister. 
But Gisli had performed a duty of honour under a holy 
vow in slaying the slayer of his foster-brother, while 
Eyolf had done what by law it was Bork's duty to do, and 
wherein Eyolf was not strictly concerned, as long as the 
next of kin was living. One can hardly help interpreting 
the whole affair in this way, that Thordis, in order to try 
to avert revenge from a beloved brother, married the 
TI. T 

274 l^f^^ Saga Library. 

cowardly Bork, on whom, as first of kin, the high duty of 
revenge devolved, hoping thus to effect her purpose the 
more surely. It was after marrying Thordis that Bork 
bought his braver cousin to do the business for him. 

Page 22, 1. 3. " Snorri abode with Erling Skialgson," 
etc. Erling and Snorri were respectively great-grand- 
sons of Horda-Kari and Thorolf Mostbeard. 

Page 24, 1. 22. " And nought of the money should be 
borrowed from other folk." This irrational and unmean- 
ing condition we take to be a later interpolation. 

Page 29, 1. 19. "Ride-by-night" (kveld-ri'Sa), a pos- 
sessed female wight, who after the fashion of troll-women 
riding wolves with snakes for reins in the dusk and dark 
of night, boding evil (cf. Lay of Helgi Hiorvardson, 
35, and the prose piece after v. 30), were supposed to flit 
about at night in order to inflict grievous bodily harm on 
man and beast. 

Page 29, 1. 24. "A jury of twelve should give the 
verdict thereon." The jury (kvi^r), in this case, was the 
so-called " tylftar-" or " tolftar-kvi^r," which was called 
in in cases where evidence, not of palpable facts, but of 
probability, was to be given. In this case the kind of 
twelve-men's jury delivering the verdict was the so-called 
" go^a-kvi^r," priest's jury, which was empannelled by 
the go^i himself out of his Thingmen without any 
reference to neighbourship. — Grdgas, i., a, 66-6j. 

Page 29, 1. 26. " Bear witness " ; read : give out the 
verdict ; cf 1. 30, " give out the twelve men's finding," 
which is the same function that kinship was considered 
to prevent Snorri and Arnkel from undertaking. 

Page 34, 1. 3. " Law-seers" (logsj^endr) seem here to 
be in a case in which they are not met with in Gragas, 
according to which they were called in either to decide 
whether a proffered medium of payment was good in law, 
or as eye-witnesses of a committed manslaughter. But 
here their business was expected to be, to decide whether 
Thorbiorn the Thick had a case that justified him in law 
to proceed to such a serious infringement of a free house- 

Notes. 275 

holder's right, as a domiciliary search for stolen goods 
involved. In fact, they are here looked upon as legal 
advisers, or counsel on behalf of the plaintiff. 

Page 34, 1. 17. " Door-doom " (dura-domr) was a spe- 
cial institution of Norwegian law ; it is not mentioned in 
the Gragas, nor in the sagas of Iceland proper, except 
here and in Landn. ii. 9, where this very case is 
referred to. In the Older Gulathing's-law (Norges 
gamle Love, i., sect, ^j), the occasion of this kind of 
court is stated, and its procedure minutely detailed at 
great length. It was called into operation for the re- 
covery of disputed debts, to the contraction of which 
there had been no witnesses. It must be holden in front 
of the debtor's doors, " not at the back of his house," i.e. 
not at the " back-door," so far away from it, that the 
debtor should have space enough for the holding of a 
counter-court of his own, with room enough left between 
this court and the door for a waggon loaded with wood 
to pass easily. How a court of this description could be 
extended to the case here in question we are not informed. 
Perhaps the explanation is to be found in the statement 
(p. 27), that "Thorbiorn was over-bearing and reckless 
with men lesser than he." 

Page 36, 11. 8, 9. " And there became one witless with 
fear " — var^ par at gjalti. The description of the blind 
fear of the thralls here, as well as that in the case of 
Ufeig, Arnkel's slave (pp. 98-99), have for their basis the 
old popular tales which centred round the phrase, "at 
ver^a at gjalti," to become utterly mad with sudden 
fright. The word "gjalti" itself, which only occurs in 
this phrase, and consequently is only known in the dative 
governed by the prep, "at," the"i" being the dat. termina- 
tion, is an Irish loan-word, meaning " mad, wild." That 
the old Scandinavians looked both upon the word and 
what it betokened as distinctly Irish is made clear by the 
Speculum Regale (Konungs skuggsja). In that work 
chapters x. and xi. are devoted to the description of 
Ireland. As one of the marvels of that country the 

276 The Saga Library. 

author brings in the kind of men there who are called 
" gelt," and immediately turns off to explain what is 
meant by the phrase, " at ver^a at gelti (var. gialti)." 
Thereof, he says, "this is the cause, that where two armies 
meet, and the two ranks on either side raise an exceeding 
tvild war-whoop, it may often happen to soft youths, who 
have not served in an army before, that they lose their 
wits from that awe and terror which then seizes them, so 
that they run away into woods from other folk, where 
they feed like beasts, and shun the meeting with man 
even as wild things do," etc. — Konungs skuggsja (p. 27). 
Comparing this statement with the description of the 
terror that seized the young prince, Suibhne, the son of 
Colman Guar, at the battle of Magh Rath, we are left no 
longer in doubt as to whence the tradition about those 
who "ver^a at gjalti " originally came. "Fits of giddi- 
ness," says the Irish record, "came over him at the sight 
of the horrors, grimness, and rapidity of the Gaels ; at the 
looks, brilliance, and irksomeness of the foreigners ; at 
the reboimding furious shouts and bclloivings of the various 
embattled tribes on both sides, rushing against a)id coming 
into collision with one another." The relation between the 
two statements amounts almost to a literal translation on 
the part of the Norwegian author, as the italicized pas- 
sages in both statements show. Both the Norwegian 
record, and particularly that of Suibhne, are too long, 
highly interesting though they are, to be inserted here. 
It is enough to state that Suibhne acquired the historical 
sobriquet of " Geilt," = maniac, in the songs of his own 
country, a fragment of one of which is preserved in a MS. of 
St. Paul's monastery, near Unterdrauberg, in Garinthia, 
sign. sec. xxv. d., fol. 8" ; see Windisch, Altirische texte, 
p. 318. An Irish romance detailing the Buile Suibhne, 
madness of Suibhne, is still in existence; see O'Donovan's 
edition of The Battle of Magh Rath, p. 236, footnote 9. 
For the whole description of Suibhne's madness, which, 
though overlaid with adjectives ad nauseam, is perhaps 
the most acutely conceived analysis of physical terror 

Notes. 277 

that exists in any language, we must refer the reader to 
O'Donovan's above-quoted edition of The Battle of 
Magh Rath, pp. 231-37. 

Page 6^, 1. 24, " Then we will go up unto the Holy 
Fell," etc. It is hardly a mere accident that, as Snorri 
here proposes to Stir to discuss a weighty matter on the 
top of Holy- Fell, so Thorstein Egilson proposes to Illugi 
the Black to go to the top of the " borg," volcanic cone, 
above his homestead of Burg, to talk over the betrothal 
of Gunnlaug Wormtongue to his daughter, which was 
very much against his mind (Story of Gunnlaug the 
Wormtongue, ch. v., in Three Northern Love-stories). 
Both incidents stand clearly in connection with ancestral 
worship, which, of course, is quite evident in the case of 
Holy-Fell, into which the Thorsnessings believed they 
died (ch. iv.). Ancestral mounds were from ancient 
times raised in the neighbourhood of the ancestral abode, 
whence the statement, " at sitja a haugi," to be sitting 
on the how of the forefathers. Thus we read of King 
Rerir (Volsungasaga, ch. ii.) that, being troubled in 
mind for having no heir born unto himself, he sat one 
day on the ancestral mound praying Odin to allay his 
trouble — for that must be the drift of the passage, — and 
the god heard his prayer, and sent him a valkyrja in the 
shape of a crow, with the remedy required. Again, King 
OlafTryggvason sends Hallfred Troubleskald to Thorleif 
the Sage, an inconvertible heathen, to slay him or blind 
him. " Thorleif," says the saga, " was wont, even as was 
greatly the custom aniojig ancient folk, to sit at long times 
together out on a certain mound, not far away from the 
homestead, and so it happened even now, when Hall- 
fred came " (Olaf Tryggvas. Saga, in Fornmannasogur, 
ii. 59). To this same group of ideas must be referred the 
desire of certain settlers to be buried at a high place 
where they could overlook their own settlement, and 
thereto again links itself the belief in mountain powers, 
such as Bard Snaefellsas and others. 

Page 6%, 1. 15. " Barg " ; read sheep-fold. 

278 The Saga Library. 

Page 68, 1. 22. "Thereafter they began to make the 
road, and the greatest of man's work it is." This same 
road is still in preservation, and is thus described by 
Dr. Kalund : " It is the highway, even to this day, which 
travellers pass going from Bearhaven eastward into the 
Holy-Fell parish, and passes through the northern spur of 
the lava which from the Bareserks is still called the Bare- 
serks'-lava. Here the lava is less rough than further to 
the south, and the road is partly built across the shore 
inclines of it. Here and there, where the incline is too 
steep, the gorges are filled with piled-up blocks, while in 
other places holes over which the road had to go have 
been filled up, and along the road there are lying in 
many places heaps of rejected stones covered over with 
moss. In this way a road has been built not so very 
different from other lava paths, only more even and 
perhaps broader than usually. In the middle of the lava 
one comes upon a fence made of single stones piled on 
the top of each other, which forms the boundary wall 
between the lands of Bearhaven and Bareserks'-lava 
(Lava, Stir's house), and seems never to have served any 
other purpose. A little further to the east the cairn of 
the Bareserks is still shown. Here the road goes across 
a scoop which it has been necessary to fill up to some 
extent, the filling-up matter leaning against natural 
blocks of lava. On either side here are to be seen one of 
those cauldron-formed dips which are characteristic of 
the lava. The cauldron on the right (south side), which 
lies at a little distance from the road, is the largest and 
deepest, and answers so completely to the description of 
the saga of the place where the Bareserks were encairned, 
that one would at once conclude that this must have 
been their burial-place. However, the cairn is shown on 
the left-hand (northern) side of the road, where an oblong 
heap of stones stretches down the incline of this lesser 
cauldron to which the words of the saga do not apply 
quite so well. It is asserted that in the beginning of this 
century the cairn was broken up, and that in it were 

Notes. 279 

found the bones of two men, not particularly large, but 
stout and heavy,^ Some distance further to the east, in 
the skirt of the lava on the right-hand side of the road, 
tliere is still to be seen the fold erected by the Bareserks, 
now called Crossfold. It is a common fold, the walls 
being built up of stone, one lava-block on the top of the 
other forming the thickness of the wall. Its irregular 
form, arising from natural lava-formations being utilized 
for walls, has given the name to it. It is used by the 
occupier of the land in spring and autumn, and produces 
yearly a crop of hay." — Beskr. af Island, i. 433-34, cf. 
Henderson's Iceland, ii. 62. 

Page 75, 1. 16. " He was in Jomsburg when Styrbiorn 
the Strong won it." This passage, together with its 
context, must refer to a lost saga of Biorn the Broad- 
wickers' champion. The capture of Jomsburg by the 
Swedish prince Biorn, generally known as Styrbiorn, 
with the surnames of " Svi'akappi " (Swedes' champion), 
or " Sterki " (the Strong), is set forth in the fragmentary 
record known as " ]7attr Styrbjarnar Svfa kappa " (Forn- 
mannasogur, v. 245-51). As to the chronology relative 
to Biorn's banishment, it is difficult to make it agree 
quite with that of Styrbiorn's life, and his death at the 
battle of Fyrisfield. Kiartan of Frodis-water was born 
the same year that Biorn went abroad (p. 75), and in 
the year, when Christianity was made law of the land, 
he is stated to have been thirteen or fourteen winters 
old, and other recensions of our saga give his age as 
fifteen. Accordingly Biorn ought to have gone abroad 
A.D. 986, 987, or 988. But the very uncertainty evinced 
by the various recensions of the saga as to Kiartan's age 

^ But in Eggert Olafsens og Biarne Povelsens Reise igiennem 
Island, i. 367, it is stated that "in these times the cairn has been 
dug into, but no remains were found." " These times " must refer 
to 1754, when the first-named explorer examined the country-sides 
of Thorsness Thing, and wrote down the diary which formed the 
basis of the joint work which was published at Sor^, 1772, and is 
still a record of great value. Either the earlier exploration of the 
cairn was insufficient, or the later is mythical. 

28o The Saga Library, 

A.D. looo, shows that that statement is not of bindinj^ 
importance. Now, reliable records relating to Styrbiorn 
and King Eric the Victorious of Sweden, state that the 
latter died ten years after the fall of the former ; datable 
events prove that the year of the king's death was 995, 
Styrbiorn's, consequently, 985, which thus becomes the 
very last year that Biorn could have gone abroad to be 
able to join Styrbiorn at Fyrisfield. No sojourn with 
Palnatoki or the Jomsburg vikings of any considerable 
duration could have taken place, for by the utmost 
stretch the year of Biorn's going abroad cannot be put 
earlier than 984. 

Page 81, 11. 22-23. " Arnkel claimed for himself a ver- 
dict of not guilty" — kvaddi Arnkell ser bjargkvi^ar — 
literally, demanded Arnkel for himself a saving verdict, 
which, however, is not an absolute equivalent for the 
original, because of kvi^r having a twofold meaning ; 
first, a sworn-in number of men, consisting, according 
to the nature of the case, of five, nine, or twelve neigh- 
bours ; secondly, the utterance, declaration, or verdict 
of such a body. In its first sense, we take it, kvi^Sr is 
an '•' ablaut " development of the root kva'S, in the verb 
kve^ja, to call upon, to call out, to levy; while in its 
second it is a similar development from the same root 
in the verb kve^a (cf. Engl, quoth), to say, to utter, to 
state, to declare. The bjargkviSr, then, was both a sort 
of jury called in to give rebutting evidence in favour of 
the defendant, and the utterance or declaration given by 
this body. The bjargkvicir should consist of five persons, 
nearest neighbours of the defendant ; he should call them 
out of the plaintiff's own so-called " frumkviSr," or 
original jury, which, if it consisted only of five neighbours, 
was then bodily called by the defendant ; but if it con- 
sisted of nine, five out of these, all being nearer neighbours 
than the remaining four, should be called : " .v. bvar 
scolo scilia vm biarg qui^o alia heimilis bvar pess manz 
er sottr er nema hann se sottr vi^ ix. bva quiS Jja seal 
hann >a=San que=5ia v. af feim bvom ix. til biarg qui^ar 

Notes. 281 

ser ))a er na^stir ero vetvang peim er fra var quatt." 
(Gragds, i. 69, with still more detailed rulings, p. 65). The 
object of thebjargkYicSr wasto declare that the defendant's 
objection or objections to the finding or findings of the 
kvi^r'of the plaintiff, frumkvi^r, were, in fact, true. 

Page 82, 11. 29-30. " (Arnkel and U Ifar) took to them all 
the goods (of Orlig) that lay together there." Orlig was 
the freedman of Thorbrand of Swanfirth, and so was 
Ulfar. The law relating to a freedman's heritage, as it is 
preserved in Gragas, provides: "A man shall take heritage 
after his freedman, and after his freedwoman, unless to 
them has been born a son or a daughter ; if the children 
be legitimate, the heritage falls to the son ; if there be no 
son, then it falls to the daughter. But should they 
(freedm. or freedw.) die without issue, their goods shall 
return back to him who gave them their freedom. Should 
the children of a freed person die without issue, their 
goods have still to revert to the giver of the freedom, as 
much thereof, to wit, as the freed persons owned when 
they died, but should their goods amount to more, then 
that (the excess) falls to the kinsmen of the freed per- 
sons' children," etc., i. a. 227, and elsewhere to the same 
effect. It is clear that a brother, being a freedman, could 
not in law inherit a brother who also was a freedman. 
Thorbrand of Swanfirth was therefore in his right, for 
he was still alive, in claiming the goods of Orlig, to which 
Ulfar had no title. Arnkel's interference here was law- 
less and selfish, seeing that all Ulfar's goods were hand- 
selled to him (p. 79) in a manner that, at least by Thor- 
brand, was not regarded as good in law (p. 85). 

Page 83, 1. 25. "at," read in. 

Page "^i, 1. 32. "Under the garth " = under the wall 
surrounding the homefield, tungar^r. 

Page 88, 11. 24-25. " Then he let break down the wall 
behind him and brought him out thereby." The death of 
Thorolf took place very much in the same way as that of 
Egil's father, Skallagrim, whose temper was somewhat 
akin to that of Thorolf, being tainted with weird lycan- 

282 The Saga Library. 

thropy, though his character was of a higher type. Skalla- 
grim called on Egil to pay him the weregild for Thorolf 
his son, who, in high command in Athelstan's army, 
had fallen fighting in the battle of Vina, and which the 
king had entrusted to Egil for the father. But Egil was 
not quite ready to give it up, — in fact, never meant to do 
so. So Skallagrim, having a large hoard of money, 
makes up his mind to pay the son out, and by night 
rides to a certain bog-pit, whereinto he sinks his two 
chests full of money, and afterwards rides home by mid- 
night, goes in his clothes to bed, but is found the next 
morning sitting in his seat in the hall, dead and stark. 
Egil goes round by the aisle of the hall, and seizes 
Skallagrim from behind, and lays him down in the seat 
and gives him lyke help, i.e., closes his eyes and mouth. 
Then he bids the southern wall to be broken through, 
whereby they carried Skallagrim headforemost out into 
the open. In both these cases the proceedings are prac- 
tically the same. Both these men died within the same 
century, Skallagrim early in it, Thorolf late. It would 
seem that in those times it was customary to teach him 
who was supposed to be likely to walk again a way to the 
house which did not lead to the door of it, but to the ob- 
structing wall — a custom which seems to trace its origin to 
the imagination that ghosts being brainless were devoid of 
initiative. To this day the belief exists in Iceland that the 
spirit of the dead visits all localities on earth where the 
person has been, before it passes to its final destination. 
This journey is supposed to take a miraculously shorttime. 

Page 92, 1. 6. " There let Arnkel raise a wall across 
the headland," etc. Arni Thorlacius, in Safn, ii. 282, 
says traces are still to be seen of the stone wall which 
Arnkel caused to be thrown across the headland, which 
is about three " man-heights " high, precipitous rocks 
forming its front and flanks, so that the only access to 
the head is down from the slope above it. Cf. Kalund, 
Beskr. i. 450, and footnote. 

Page 95, 1. 25. "Now the talk fell on pairing men 

Notes. 283 

together." This was an amusement in which the men of 
old were fond to indulge, highly mischievous though 
mostly it proved, even as here was the case. The best 
sport in man-pairing, " mannjafna^r," on record, is that 
provoked by King Eystein of Norway, when he selected 
for his pair, " jafna^armann," his own brother, Sigurd the 
Jerusalem-farer. — Heimskringla, 681 (also Morkinskinna, 
186-187, arid Fornmannasogur, vii. 118). 

Page 101,1. 28. Ward of the mess, mess-ward, " bu'Sar- 
vor^r." We have advisedly translated this compound 
thus, both here and at p. 1 14, in spite of the interpretation 
of the Dictionary, for this is obviously the meaning im- 
parted to the term by the author of our saga : " halda 
biiSarvorS " (Eb. 69, 13-14), " hljota buSarvorS " (ib. J%, 10), 
can only mean literally to hold, to get by lot, the ward of 
the "bu^." "VorSr," therefore, does not mean "cibus," 
meat, here, but the word meaning " cibus," victual, is 
"bii^," as in "bu'Sar-beini" = meat-treatment, consisting 
of greens, which the record states in the immediately 
preceding line were duly " mat-buin" = prepared for 
meat (Heilagramannasogur, ii. 424, and note 4). " Bu^ " 
would then really seem to be = mat-buS, meat pre- 
paration, hence the prepared meat itself, mess. When 
"bu=Sar-v6r^r" is made to mean meat, mess, that use of the 
compound seems to depend on the feeling that " vorSr," 
ward = " verSr," meal, meat, and is but a translation 
of " bu« " in its obsolete sense of meat, mess. " Bu«," 
though mostly occurring as a term neutral of state, con- 
dition, has preserved its active force in " umbii^," the 
doing round, wrapping, bandaging. 

Page 102, 1. 27. " In his bag were three hundreds in 
wadmal," meaning wadmal, homespun, or russet of the 
length of 360 standard ells, consequently of the current 
value of so many ells. 

Ahn, oln = ell, was : (i) a standard of measure = iSa 
inches, or the length that an average hurnan arm was 
supposed to measure from the elbow-joint to the 
tip of the longest finger ; (2) a standard of value : 

284 The Saga Library. 

6 ells making i eyrir = ounce (8 ounces = mark). 
48 „ „ I mork = mark ^ (2i marks = hundred"). 
120 „ „ I hundred. 

Page 102, 1. 28. For "twelve skins for sale," read 
twelve cloaks of marketable russet or wadmal. 

Page 112, 1. 14. "Now a great deerhound was with 
Egil," etc. The deerhound meant is a fox-hunting dog, 
the fox being often called " dyr," in connection with its 
depredations among the flocks in hard winters. The 
erne or eagle here was probably supposed to be the 
"fylgja," fetch, or genius natal is, which went with Thorolf 
Haltfoot through life, and had not yet quite parted from 
him, since still he was walking. 

Page 119, 1. 4. "And made fast to the door-post a 
purse wherein were twelve ounces of silver." For door- 
post a closer rendering would be "the door-groove" — 
hur'Sar-klofa — for the door must, since it was a door " a 
klofa," have been one that moved either up and down like 
a portcullis, or else one that moved sideways in its groove. 
Both kinds of doors were known in ancient Iceland. 

Page 120, 1. 20. "Steinthor cast a spear ov»er Snorri's 
folk for his good luck, according to ancient custom." 
This, no doubt, was an ancient custom, meaning that he 
who threw the spear, accompanying the throw by a 
prayer to Odin, devoted his enemies to the god of 
battle. A good illustration of the custom we have in 
the case of King Eric the Victorious at the battle of 
Fyrisfield against Styrbiorn : " That same night went 
Eric to the temple of Odin, and gave himself to the god 
that he might grant him victory, and bargained for ten 
years' respite from death. Many a thing he had sacri- 
ficed before, for the outlook on his side was the less 
hopeful. Shortly afterwards he saw a great man in a 
slouching hat, who handed to him a reed-rod and bade 

^ j\Iark and ounce were also measures of weight : 8 ounces = i 
mark, 20 marks making i farthing, " fjortSungr," 8 farthings making 
I weight, " vastt." 

Notes. 285 

him shoot it over the host of Styrbiorn, uttering this 
thereby : ' Odin owns you all ! ' And when he had shot, 
it seemed to the kino- as if a dart was aloft that flew 
over the host of Styrbiorn ; and forthwith Styrbiorn's 
army was smitten by blindness, and he himself after- 
wards. Thereupon such portents befell as that an earth- 
slip broke loose from the upper part of the mountain 
and rushed adown upon the army of Styrbiorn, and all 
his folk were killed. And when King Harold (of Den- 
mark) saw this, he together with all the Danes took to 
flight, and straightway gained their sight when they 
got beyond the range of the flight of the spear." — Forn- 
mannasogur, v. 250, from Flatey book, ii. 72. This 
seems to be a later development of Odin's own act in 
the war between his own host, the "^sir," and that of the 
hostile " Vanir," to which allusion is made in Voluspa, 24, 
in the words : 

Flung Odin, {i.e. his spear) 
into the folk he shot, 

which clearly means that he consecrated his enemies to 
destruction by hurling his spear over and into their host. 
Odin's "geirr "= spear plays, in connection with the rite 
of consecration to death, an extensive part in the old 
heathen ritual. When he himself hung on the tree, the 
Vingamei'Sr (a vindga mei'Si), the windy, wind-swept 
gallows, he says of himself that he was : 

geiri undacSr 

ok gefinn O^ni, 

sjalfr sjalfom mer : 

With gar (spear) wounded 

and given to Odin, 

Self unto myself. — Hivdrndl, 138. 

And the Ynglinga saga (ch. 10) tells us that when Odin 
(of history) was nigh to death, he caused himself to be 
" marked with a spear's point, and therewith he claimed 
as his own all ' weapon-dead ' men." Hence it became 
a common death-consecration custom in mythic times 
to mark oneself with a spear (to Odin). Self-immola- 

286 The Saga Library. 

tion by a spear, as well as the consecration to death of 
enemies by a shaft thrown over them and into them, 
accompanied by an invocation, were thus parallel rites 
instituted by the god of war himself. 

Page 1 20, 1. 30. " But the fair-wrought sword bit not 
whenas it smote armour," etc. This is a very common 
experience in Scandinavian weapons, and for the first 
time heard of in history at the battle of Aquce Sextise 
between Marius and the Teutons. The sagas abound 
in anecdotes about the exceeding desire the Northern 
warrior evinced, wherever he came, for a good weapon, 
the simple meaning of which is, that in the North weapon- 
smiths who understood how to forge tempered or steel 
laminated weapons were, if not unknown, at least very 
rare, Gretti's fight in the barrow of Kar for the famous 
sax, the very name of which designates it as a weapon 
of Southern make, and Gunnar's fight for his famous 
bill, are only illustrations of struggle for relief from a 
general and severely-felt want ; and the many stories 
preserved about the preternatural powers and peculiari- 
ties of many pet weapons show what an ideal concep- 
tion a badly-weaponed but highly warlike people had 
of the mysterious art of tempering iron. The weapon- 
thing which we are told in Gretti's saga the Vserings 
always held before they went on an expedition, no doubt 
meant principally examination of the weapons which 
new Northern arrivals had brought, in order to ascertain 
if they were as good as those used by the Byzantine 

Page 128, 1. I. "Steinthor and his men had gone 
their ways and come aboard off tlie ice," read : and come 
off the ice up at the bottom of the bay — " komnir inn af 
fjarcjarisnum." The situation was this : Swordfirth cuts 
into Thorsness from east to west ; between it and Tem- 
plesteadwick, which cuts from west to east into the ness, 
is a narrow low neck of land. The Ere-dwellers had 
drawn their ten-oarer out of its stand in Swordfirth, and 
all the way up to the bottom of it, and then over the 

Notes. 287 

neck and on to the ice of Templesteadwick, even to the 
very edge of it. Then they went from the west again 
to fetch the outfit of the boat which had been left 
behind, together with their clothes and heavy weapons, 
and then ran up against the Thorbrandsons coming 
from the south and crossing Swordfirth in the direction 
of Holyfell. When Snorri appeared on the field of 
deed the Ere-dwellers had evidently had time after the 
close of the battle to gather together what they had 
come to fetch, and to carry it all, together with the 
wounded Bergthor, as far as where the ice on Swordfirth 
ceased and the above-mentioned narrow neck began. 

Page 128, 1. 10. "Then he took up in his hand to- 
gether blood and snow," etc. This is the only instance 
we know of blood being tasted in order to ascertain 
whether it be vital blood or not. Snorri declares it to 
be " hol-bl6^," blood from the hollow or abdominal part 
of the body, " life-blood," for Bergthor was struck in the 
" middle." That would then mean black blood, which 
had not come in contact with the air in the lungs. Medi- 
cal men assure us that there is no difference in taste 
between the black and red blood. Snorri knew probably 
that the man was mortally wounded, and on the strength 
of that knowledge gave out his declaration. 

Page 132, 1. 19. "But hard have such great men as 
those been to win in their houses, even when they were 
set on with more men," etc. Snorri's wary harangue to 
his following seems to be thrown in here solely in order 
to give a telling touch to Snorri's unwarriorlike character. 
This journey of Snorri's befell in 998, but the onset on 
and slaughter of Gunnar of Lithend took place 990. 

Page 134, 1. 28. "They fell in with a north-easter 
which prevailed long that summer."* This notice pre- 
pares the story told in ch. Ixiv. of Gudleif 's meeting with 
Biorn in America. 

Page 135, 1. 9. "Snorri Thorbrandson," read "Thor- 
brand, son of Snorri." 

Page 135, 1. 18. " Next it befell that Gizur the White 

288 The Saga Library. 

and Hiallti his son-in-law came out to preach Christ's 
law." Hiallti was married to Viiborg, the daughter of 
Gizur (Landn., i. ch. 21, p. 63). 

Page 135, 1. 27. "Now this whetted men much to the 
building of churches," etc. This is a telling instance show- 
ing how the preachers ofthe new faith accommodated them- 
selves to heathen traditions for the purpose of winning the 
ruling and wealthiest class over to the Church. The brave 
heathen leader of war-hosts was welcomed by Odin in 
Valhall, together with his faithful followers fallen in battle 
with him. The Christian chief is assured of a similar re- 
ception in the Kingdom of Heaven for himself and as 
many as his church will hold ! 

Page 139, 1. 16. " Thorgunna (was) set to work at as 
much as a neat's winter-fodder " — " nauts-fo^r." Here, 
apparently, " nauts-foSr " means the same as the more 
common term, "kyr-fo'Sr," the amount of hay deemed 
sufficient to feed a cow through the winter, from the 
time she goes " off" grass in autumn, till the time she is 
turned on to pasture in spring. There can be no doubt 
that it must in the old days have amounted to very much 
the same as at present, namely, about thirty horse-loads, 
each of which should weigh about 240 lbs. 

Page 141, 1. 4. " I would be borne to Skalaholt if I 
die of this sickness," etc. At this time dwelt at Skala- 
holt Gizur the White, according to some records at least 
(Hungrvaka, ch. ii., Saga Olafs Tryggvasonar, Fornm. s. 
ch. 216) ; but according to others, he lived at Mossfell as 
late as 1012 (Njala, ch. 135), and was the first man that 
built a house at Skalaholt, which Kristni Saga (ch. 12) 
clearly indicates to have taken place some years after 
Christianity was made law in Iceland. Both these latter 
records are older than the two former. Thorgunna's pro- 
phecy concerning the worship the place would be held in 
refers to its being made the see of the bishop of Iceland, 
which did not come about till fifty-six years after the 
date at which our saga supposes her death to have 
occurred (looo), technically even a good deal later. 

Notes. 289 

Page 145, 1. II. The description given of the moon of 
Weird — " ur'Sar-mani " — indeed, the mention of this por- 
tent, is only found here, and no allusion to it exists else- 
where in the literature, that we are aware of. " UrSr," 
gen. "urSar," was one of the three northern fates, the 
others being VerSandi and Skuld, which names clearly 
indicate the Past, Present, and Future. Weird's moon 
would seem generally to have been taken as a portent 
that betokened an act that Fate had already accomplished, 
while here it seems to be Urd's notice of what she had 
decided should come to pass within Ver^andi's and 
Skuld's domain, namely, the troubles, such as sickness, 
which were to fall on the people of Frodis-water (Ver^- 
andi's business), and death thereon following (Skuld's 

Page 154, 1. 15. "Brand," read Bard. 

Page 154, 1. 23. "Thorstein was the cousin of," &c. 
See Genealogies. 

Page 157, 1. 15. " He" (Uspak) "was a married man, 
and had a son called Glum, who was young in those days." 
See vol. i., pp. 'j6, 185. 

Page 157, 1, 26. Thambardale. We have left the Ice- 
landic form of the first part of this compound uninter- 
fered with, chiefly on the ground of euphony, partly also 
because of the awkward sense of )jomb. See Diet. Thamb- 
ar=Thamb-ar=of the river of Thomb. Probably the 
name was given to the river in consequence of it having 
caused some accident to a cow or a mare (less likely, 
a ewe), which bore the name of " ))omb." 

Page 158, 1. 4. For Sturla Thiodrekson's family con- 
nections, see vol. i., Preface, and the Story of Howard 
the Halt. 

Page 158, 1. 15. "Earth-ban," jar^-bonn, a common 
term to this day, indicating that all pasture is intercepted 
by the thickness of the snow on the ground. 

Page 158, 1. 21. " Goi." See vol. i., p. 189. 

Page 163, 1. 27. (Snorri) "sat at home until the 
time came for the court of forfeiture to sit" — "sat heima 

II. U 

290 The Saga Library. 

til feransdoms." This court was held fourteen days 
after judgment had fallen against the accused ; or, if the 
case had been decided against him by award, fourteen 
days after the next following Althing. As a rule, it was 
held at the home of the guilty person, but in cases where 
his proper domicile or district of amenability to justice 
were uncertain, the court was held at the house of the 
Go^Si who was regarded as being most concerned in 
the case. The court should be established within an 
arrow's shot-reach of the enclosure to the homefield, on 
that side of the same which pointed directly towards 
the home of the plaintiff, if the circumstances of the 
locality would allow such spot outside the homefield to 
be occupied ; but it was also provided, that the seat of the 
court should be chosen where there was " neither acre 
nor ing "( = mowable meadow). The Go^i, within whose 
jurisdiction the court was held, should nominate twelve 
judges for it out of the nearest neighbours, for which 
nomination it signified nothing whether the neigh- 
bours were the Gobi's Thingmen or not. The judges 
could be challenged by the defendant even as the 
members of a jury could be. The executor (plaintiff) 
should summon, three nights or more before the meet of 
the court, five of the nearest neighbours to deliver all 
verdicts before it. He should likewise summon thither 
those who were witnesses to the delivery of the judg- 
ment or the award against the accused in the first 
instance. The creditors of the accused should like- 
wise meet before this court, having summoned thither 
their witnesses, or, in case they had none such, the 
proper complementof nearest neighbours. Every creditor 
was to have what debt he had against the accused paid 
in full, or, in case his means sufficed not, reduced at a 
proportionate rate to those of the rest. When all creditors 
were satisfied, the Go^i was the next first claimant to 
his share in the remainder of the accused's property : he 
should have a cow or an ox four years old, or, if so 
much was not left over, one mark. Of the remainder 

Notes. 291 

one half fell to the share of the plaintiff, the other half 
to that of the men of the Quarter or of the Thing, accord- 
ing as the accused was condemned at the Althing or the 
Spring Thing (for Quarter and Thing, see vol. i., xxx. foil.). 
For the elaborate legislation relating to this court, see 
especially Gragds, i. a, 83-96. 

Page 164, 1. 5. " Raven was by-named the Viking. 
He was nought but an evil-doer." " Vikingr " is fre- 
quently used as a synonym for evil-doer, thief, and robber. 
Thus in our own saga we read : " Snorri the Priest and 
Sturla scattered the vikings," namely, Uspak and his 
band. So also the term is used of Thorir Thomb and his 
companions, who elsewhere are described as the worst of 
robbers and evil-doers (Grettir's s., xix.). The first settler 
of the bay of Bitter, Thorbiorn Bitter, is even in Landndma 
said to have been " a viking and a scoundrel " (ii., ch. 32, 
p. 159)- This sense of the word is supposed to be due 
to degeneracy, by lapse of time, from something nobler 
which once upon a time was implied by it. That pro- 
bably is a mere mistake. The viking's profession, when- 
ever it is mentioned, is chiefly defined as robbery, arson, 
and manslaughter. Perpetrated on foreigners = natural 
enemies, it mattered not, especially as it served the end 
of military distinction at home ; exercised on fellow- 
citizens, living under laws of their own making, its real 
nature appeared in its true light ; hence, from the first, 
the viking was — abroad, a hero ; at home, a scoundrel. 

Page 165, 1. 12. "And then stretched north away 
over the bay into Bitter." The bearing from Waterness 
into Bitter is, as nearly as possible, due west. Our text 
calls it " north," even as the Waterness people to this 
day prefer to indicate the point. The reason of this is, 
that Bitter lies within the bailiwick of the Strands, a 
district the main part of which lies much farther to the 
north than Waterness, and thus the bearing of it from 
that point gives to every locality within it the same 
designation of the cardinal point. 

Page 166. 1. 26. " Now Sturla Thiodrekson sent word 

292 The Saga Library. 

from the west," namely, to Snorri the Priest, now living 
at Saelingsdale-tongue. The two localities are due north 
and south by the compass. In the local speech, however, 
to this day, the direction from Saurby, Sturla's country- 
side, to Saelingsdale, is said to be from the west. The 
real reason of such liberty being taken with the actual 
cardinal point of the compass is that, the choice of terms 
lying between west and north, the latter could not be 
used, since the listener to the story would involuntarily 
connect it at once with the North-country, where, too, 
in Eyjafjord, there is even a Saurby, while the former 
term indicates Saurby as that of the West-country, and 
also points to the fact, that the valley so called opens 
upon the district known as the West-Firths proper, 
which cut into the peninsula across the bay right in front 
of the view opened out from the mouth of the Saurby 

Page 167, 1. 10. (Thrand) "was said to be not of one 
shape while he was heathen," &c., — ok var kalla^r eigi 
einhamr. The meaning of this is, that Thrand had the 
power of changing his shape as occasion served, which 
power was believed to be the special gift of Odin, the 
first and greatest of shape or skin-changers : " Odin 
changed shapes ; lay then the body, as if asleep or dead, 
while he himself was a fowl, or a four-footed beast, or 
fish, or snake, and went in a moment into far-away 
countries on his own or other folks' errands." — Ynglinga 
saga (chapter vii.). This same power he imparted to 
goddesses and Valkyrjur, and among men it was 
specially imparted to his immediate descendants, the 
Volsung family (Volsunga saga, chaps, vii. and viii.). 
Witches and people " ancient in mind," as well as those 
who were supposed to descend from trolls and giants, 
were chiefly credited with this peculiar power. The belief 
is not peculiar to the North, though few peoples' litera- 
ture is so full of it as the Icelandic ; it is common to 
all nations, its primitive source being probably the 

Notes^ ' •2<^2i 

Page 167, 1. 26. "East across the firths." The 
*' firths " the author has in his mind are small bights that 
cut into the land east of Bulands-head, together with the 
broad bay called Groundfirth, the eastern littoral of which 
is formed by Ere (Onward Ere), on the narrow isthmus 
of which, near its eastern shore, is the homestead of Eidi, 
from which Thrand took his straight course over the ice- 
laid firths unto Tongue. The distance Thrand made 
was, as the crow flies, forty-seven English miles — with the 
necessary bends, some fifty miles odd ; he walked this 
distance apparently in about twelve hours, at a steady 
pace consequently of about four miles an hour. 

Page 168, 1. 12. " They went " (Snorri and his band) 
" north over Gablefell-heath . . . and came to Tongue in 
Bitter in the evening, and there was Sturla abiding them." 
Snorri took the way in a north-easterly direction, first 
probably along the neighbouring Swinedale, from which 
he struck, on the right, the road over Gablefell-heath, 
while Sturla, living further to the north, went straight 
east, and came down into Tongue by the road leading 
over Tongueheath. 

Page 170, 1. 2. "Twirl-spear," sneri-spjot, a weapon 
which elsewhere is called either snoeri-spjot (Heims- 
kringla, 537) or snaerisspjot (= snoeris-spjot) (Fornm. 
sogur, vi. ^6, Isl. sogur, ii. 1830, p. 267). The Dictionary 
only translates it javelin. Weinhold, " Altnordisches 
Leben," 194, calls it " Spiess mit Schwungriemen," but we 
don't see what sort of purpose hurling-strops could have 
answered in connection with such a weapon. It seems 
more likely that it was a weapon with some contrivance 
by which it was made to twirl round in the air for a 
steadier flight and surer aim. 

Page 171, 1. I. " Glum afterwards had to wife Thordis, 
daughter of Asmund the Long-hoary," &c., cf. The 
Story of the Banded Men, vol. i., ^6 foil. ; The Story of 
Grettir the Strong, ch. xiv. 

Page 171, 1. 26. "Nor has any man had heart to 
dwell there (at Lairstead) by reason of these things." 

294 The Saga Library. 

To the author of our saga thus a tradition was known to 
the effect, that after Arnkel's death Lairstead was never, 
up to his day, inhabited. Arni Thorlacius, in his de- 
scription of the locaHties of our saga (Safn til sogu 
Islands, ii. 280) says : "This is now a waste place, and 
without doubt has been so for many centuries, so little is 
now to be seen of the remains of the housetofts. The 
house has stood in the midst of a level lawn, a short way 
north-below Vadils-head, about six hundred feet up from 
tlie sea ; the site, however, is called Lairstead (a BolstaS) 
still to this day." 

Page 172, 1. 29. " Now it was at the time of night- 
meal whenas Thorod came home." This was the last of 
the so-called " dags-mork," day-marks, or time points 
into which the civil day of Iceland was and still is divided. 
These divisions are as follows : 

1. " Rismal," rise-meal, or " mi^r morgunn," "mi^- 
morgunn," mid-morning, sun due E. = 6 A.M. 

2. " Dagmal," daymeal, sun due S.E. = 9 A.M. 

3. " Hadegi," highday, noon, sun due S. = 12 o'clock. 

4. " Mi'Sdegi" or " mi^munda," midday, sun due S.S.W. 
= 1.30 P.M. 

5. " Non," nones, sun due S.W. — 3 P.M. 

6. " Mi^r aptann " or " mi^aptann," mid-eve, sun due 
W. = 6 P.M. 

7. " Nattmal," nightmeal, sun due N.W. = 9 P.M. 
Page 173, 1. 8. " Now the cow went often down to 

the strand, and the place whereas the bale had been 
litten, and licked the stones whereon the ashes thereof 
had been driven." It seems clear, that behind this 
feature of this uncanny story there is floating a dim 
reminiscence from Snorra Edda's account of the cow 
Au^humla or Au^humbla : " Then said Gangleri : ' What 
did the cow feed on } ' High says : ' She licked the rimy 
stones that were salt,' " &c., i. 46. 

Page 194, 1. 22. Thorsteinson, read Thorgautson. 
Cf. Preface, xxxiii. 

Page 197, 11. 4, 5. " There was a man hight Thorgaut, 

Notes. 295 

who dwelt at a stead called Sleylech in Burgfirth," &c. 
The course of the story afterward, especially the descrip- 
tion of the journey of Bardi's spies, makes it quite clear, 
that Thorgaut dwelt, not at Sleylech, but at Thorgaut- 
stead in Whitewaterside. The meadow Goldmead was 
a portion, as still it is, under the name of "teigarnir" = 
the Meads, of the land of Thorgautstead. This plot of 
land Bardi's spies have clear in view from Hallwardstead, 
the nearest house, on the southern side of Whitewater, to 
Thorgautstead (p. 223). Towards Thorgautstead Gisli flies 
from Goldmead and is slain against the homefield fence, 
and carried home and laid at the feet of his father, who is 
tacitly recognized as the master of the place (pp. 227-29). 
From Hallwardstead it was impossible to have any view 
at all of the house of Sleylech, which from there is hidden 
behind the southern shoulder of Sidefell {i.e., Whitewater- 
side-fell), being situate on its northern slope facing 
Thwartwater. Olafsson's account here of Lyng-Torfi's 
slippery errand is very faulty. The later saga makes it 
quite evident that he got a sword from each of the two, 
Thorgaut and Thorbiorn Brunison. On the day that 
Bardi starts for the south, Thorarin gives him a sword, 
telling him of Lyng-Torfi's errand, and saying : " But 
Thorberg my son hath the other weapon, and Thorbiorn 
owns that, but Thorgaut owns that which thou hast " 
(pp. 215-16) ; in slaying Gisli, Bardi "hewed at him with 
the sword Thorgaut's-loom " (p. 229) ; and in the fight on 
the Heath both swords turn up again, one wielded by 
Bardi, the other by Thorberg — it is a mere slip, on the 
part of the saga, when Thorberg is made to wield the 
sword of Thorgaut instead of that of Thorbiorn (p. 235). 

Page 199, 1. 20. " Six weeks," read seven weeks. 

Page 201, 11. 16-19. "Say thou that they shall not be 
bound to fare with thee, if thou comest not to each one of 
them on the Saturday whenas it lacketh as yet five weeks 
of winter." As stated in the preceding note, this talk 
between Thorarin and Bardi took place when seven 
weeks were yet left of the summer. Page 203 we see that 

296 The Saga Library. 

Bardi went to the man-mote on the Sunday preceding the 
Saturday of the summer week already mentioned, which 
Sunday, of course, fell within that week which was the 
sixth, counting backwards, from the end of the summer. 
Winter began on the Saturday before St. Luke's day, Oct. 
1 8th, or on St. Luke's day itself, if it fell on a Saturday. 
By the chronology of our saga, the Heath-slayings took 
place in 1021 (see Preface). In that year, Oct. i8th fell 
on a Wednesday ; winter then began on the previous 
Saturday, Oct. 14th ; the Friday and Thursday, Oct. 
13th and 1 2th, preceding that, were the so-called Winter- 
nights, so that the last week of summer closed on 
Wednesday, Oct. nth. Hence, Thursday, Aug. 24th, 
begins the seventh but last week of summer. Within 
this week then the raid on Burgfirth was resolved upon. 
Nothing, however, was let out about it, till Bardi came to 
the folkmote at Thingere that was held on the following 
Sunday, which fell within the sixth but last week of 
summer, that is to say, on Sept. 3rd. On the Saturday 
following, within the fifth but last week of summer, i.e., 
on Sept. 9th, the band was gathered in by Bardi, cf. 
pp. 208-11. 

Page 202, 1. 7. " Nephews," read cousins. They were 
the sons of Hermund, brother to Gudmund, Bardi's 

Page 203, 1. 28. "It befell here last summer, that 
I fell out with a man hight Thorarin, and he was 
wounded by my onslaught," &c. This refers to that end- 
bit of a chapter with which the fragment of the Heath- 
slayings' story now begins in the old MS. (mentioned in 
our introductory notice to the story, p. 199). We give 
it here in a literal translation as it stands : — 

. . . . " Six days. Now Haldor misses the horses and 
seeks for them, and finds them, and deems they have 
been sadly used and goes now on a meeting with 
Thorarin ; and now he loses his temper to him and 
dealeth him such a wound as was a sore hurt to him 
howbeit not baneful ; so this matter cometh before the 

Notes. 2()'] 

two, Hoskuld and Eilif, and they crave that boot be done 
for their Thingman. To that matter he (Haldor) taketh 
nowise readily, nor did they come to peace on that 
affair ; and thus done, the matter now stands on 

Bardi arranged with the two goSar to settle the matter 
on behalf of Haldor when four weeks were still left of 
summer, p. 204, and amid the broken readings from 
which we have given a summar}', pp. 242-43, one gathers 
that Bardi came to the arranged peace-meeting, but what 
the result was can only be guessed, peace apparently. 

Page 206, 1. 16. "Burg," the homestead of Bardi's 
brother-in-law, Eyolf, is defined, p. 256, as Burg the 
southernmost. To this day there are two homesteads in 
the locality between lower Willowdale-water and West- 
hope- water, named Burg the " northernmost " and 
" southernmost," the one north, the other south of Burg- 
work (cf Preface). At present the northernmost is by 
a great deal the more considerable property of the two. 

Page 211, 11. 8-12. "They had all come out and 
landed west in Willowdale, but Gudbrand, their father, 
and Gudrun, their mother, dwelt west (lit) in Willowdale, 
at the stead called thereafter Gudbrandstead." " Bardi," 
on returning from his banishment, "betook himself to 
Gudbrand his brother-in-law," p. 256. After the 
Althing at which he was betrothed to Snorri's daughter, 
" Bardi rides to Waterdale to his alliances," and leaving 
Snorri the next spring after he married his daughter, 
" Bardi goeth north to Waterdale, where he tarrieth with 
Gudbrand his brother-in-law," p. 257. Kalund has made 
a careful inquiry into the local statements noted here, and 
avers positively that no tradition now exists to show 
where a house called Gudbrandstead might have been 
either in Willowdale or Waterdale. In the story of the 
Waterdale-men (Vigfusson's ed., i860, pp. 61, 194), Gud- 
brand Thorsteinson, the grandson of Ingimund the Old, 
the settler, is stated to have dwelt at Gudbrandstead,, 
which undoubtedly then was a house in Waterdale. But 

298 The Saga Library. 

he could hardly have been alive at this time, seeing that 
his father was a mature man about 935, when Ingimund 
died. Kalund is indined to accept the reading Willow- 
dale in the two places where Waterdale occurs, because 
oneof Bardi'sbrothers-in-law, Eyolf of Burg, notably lived 
in Willowdale, and Bardi had only two of them, at least 
mentioned in the saga, so the statement that he rode " to 
Waterdale to his alliances," would not agree with the saga 
in the case of one of them ; both, therefore, he thinks, 
must have lived in the valley where the one that was 
well known, lived. 

Page 211, 1. 29. "Now shalt thou ride home to 
Asbiorn's-ness," &c. This was the Saturday, Sept. 9th 
(note to p. 201) ; next day, Sunday, Sept. loth, the start 
for the south is made, and Nial's house reached at night, 
212-21 ; Monday, Sept. nth, they ride from Nial's and 
rest for the night on the Heath, 222 ; Tuesday, Sept. 12th, 
they ride down into Copsedale, where " they sleep the 
night away," 222-23; Wednesday, Sept. 13th, early in 
the morning, the attack is made and Gisli slain ; late in 
the day the Heath-battle is fought, and the darkness of 
night saves Bardi and his from lUugi's pursuit, 227-42. 

Page 212, ch. xxii. Thurid, Bardi's mother, is repre- 
sented in our saga as a woman in the enjoyment of full 
energy of middle life. She strikes her son, a married 
man, in the face (p. 193), she bestirs herself busily in 
arraying for her sons an insulting meal, sings and raves, 
and lastly, means to take the command of the expe- 
dition. Yet at this time she has two grandsons eighteen 
years of age, and her husband was, if we may trust Jon 
Olafsson's memorial rehearsal of the lost leaves, a very 
old man when he heard of the death of his son. In our 
saga it is not stated whose daughter Thurid was, but we 
learn from Landndma and Laxdaela saga that she was 
daughter of Olaf Peacock, who, about 970, married 
Thorgerd, daughter of Egil Skallagrimson. Now even 
supposing she was the oldest of his children, and married 
very young, say about 990, and gave birth to her daughter 

Notes. 299 

Gudrun c. 992, and she again married very young, say 
about 1012, she could not have sons of eighteen years 
old by this time. Vigfusson's suggestion that Thurid 
may have been rather a sister of Olaf, who indeed had a 
sister of that name, consequently also sister to Hallgerd 
of Lithend fame, seems only plausible. 

Page 212, 1. 24. " Nigh witless of wits art thou be- 
come," ertu nsEr^'z;zV^;z^z^zVi'(Islendingasogur, ii. 337, 15). 
This remarkable passage is a quotation from the Older 
Edda, hitherto unnoticed, and, if we are not mistaken, 
the only direct one as yet pointed out in the sagas, 
whose silence in this respect has naturally puzzled all 
critics ; that it is set forth in a negative instead of a 
positive form, because the context requires it, makes, of 
course, no difference. The illustration is found in Hava- 
mal, strophe 18 : 

Sa einn veit, as vi^a ratar 
ok hefir fjol^ um fariS, 
hverjo geBi styrir gumna hverr, 
sa es viiandi er vitz; i.e. : 

one wot I, who wanderth wide 

and many farings fareth, 

to know what mind each man may wield 

that wots he's wise of wits.^ 

Given a negative turn to the last line of the strophe, we 
have exactly Steingrim's half-despairing reproach to his 
mother, which even in the context of the original stands 
out convincingly as an endeavour of a pious son to veil 
by a venerable quotation of exquisite delicacy the direct 
rude term which passion prompted, namely, " vitlaus " = 
mad, maniacal. 

Page 218, 1. 2. The Nipsdale here mentioned need 
not necessarily be the name of Nial's house, but rather 

^ To let the last line refer to the experienced and observing 
traveller, as the Corpus Poeticum, i., p. 3, does, makes this 
fine strophe quite meaningless. 

300 The Saga Library. 

that of the valley in which it was situated, its name not 
being given. The valley is still called Nipsdale (Niips- 
dalr), in which two farmsteads bear the name of Nip 
(Nupr), distinguished by "upper" and "nether." A 
name Nialstead (NjdlsstaSir) is still given to the ruins 
of an old crofter-dwelling further up the valley, possibly 
pointing to Nial's eleventh-century habitation. 

Page 219,1. I. " Thingfare-pay," J)ingfarar-kaup, a 
term signifying both the pay that everyone who attended 
the Althing received, and especially the tax which was 
imposed for this purpose, but the standard amount of 
which' is not stated. It was levied on everyone who, 
free of debt, possessed, for every servant, and every 
person whom it was his duty to maintain, a "cow- 
gild " (a cow's worth), or a milking cow (havfot ku), or 
a net, or a boat, and besides all such furniture and 
appointments as were necessary for the needs of the 
household. He who had no servants (einvirki) should 
pay at a double rate, i.e., at the rate of two " cow-gilds " 
per servant. But it was paid only by those who did not 
attend at the Althing, while those who did were not 
only exempt from it, but had their travelling expenses 
paid out of what the collection from non-attendants 
amounted to, provided they arrived on the Thursday the 
Thing assembled, the first day of the session. Many 
minute rules were prescribed relating to this tax, which 
was practically a property census, and on which the 
social status of the taxed depended. See Gragas, Finsen, 
s.v. Jjingfararkaup. 

Page 220, 1. 19. "Now six men shall be up on the 
Bridge," &c., but only five are mentioned, while to the 
second reserve of six seven are allowed, one of whom 
figures oddly enough as the one " who came instead of 
Haldor," no substitute for Haldor having been men- 
tioned before in the story, nor having any place in it at 
all. The confusion here is curious. Gefn's-Odd has 
evidently been the sixth man of the Bridge reserve, for 
his name does not appear either in the middle watch or 

Notes. 301 

among Bardi's attacking party of six. We imagine this 
may have come about in the following way. In some 
copy of the saga Odd's name had been left out by inad- 
vertence. A later transcriber of that copy saw the 
mistake first when he got into the enumeration of the 
second watch, and not being able to remember by name 
the person omitted, nor inclined to lose time in looking 
him up, replaced him by " the man " who, he thought, 
must have been secured " instead of Haldor," when he 
backed out of the expedition. 

Page 221, 1. 16. "Now shall ye ride away at your 
swiftest," &c. The point of this whole clause is evi- 
dently that, if Bardi and his manage to cross over to the 
northern side of the mountain water-shed between south 
and north, then the verdict or jury of neighbours would 
have to be summoned from their own country, instead 
of from the country-sides of the enemy. One cannot see 
whether Thorarin's statement proceeds from the law- 
principle of nearest neighbourship, or from a customary 
tradition that the verdict in a suit for manslaughter 
committed on this side of the water-shed of a Quarter 
should be summoned from the same, irrespective of the 
distance to nearest neighbours. On this latter point we 
are not aware that the Gragds contains any provisions. 

Page 240, 11. II, 12. "And he smote at him so that 
he fell and is now unfightworthy." The first " he " is 
Thorgisl, son of Hermund Solmundson, Bardi's first 
cousin, the following " him " and " he " is Thorgisl 
Hewer, whose wound proved fatal, he being one of the 
"eight from the South" who fell in the Heath-fight, 
p. 241, and was left unatoned by the award at the 
Althing, p. 249. 

Page 241, 11. 17, 18. "But eight men from the South 
were fallen and three from the North." Here our author 
shows himself signally out of his bearings. The very 
description of the battle shows that ten from the South 
fell in this fight, which record taken page by page falls 
out as follows : 

302 The Saga Library. 

Page 236 (bottom). "■ Ketil" (son of Thorgaut) 
"fell" I 

Page 236 (last line). " Then leapt Bardi unto 
Thorgaut and gave him his death-wound " . 2 

Page 237. Thorbiorn Brunison, after fighting 
with Thorod and the sons of Gudbrand, " fell 
before Bardi " (line 29) 3 

Pages 237, 238. Thorliot of Walls or "Sley- 
brook" fights with Eric Wide-sight, who 
"gives him a great wound, and he fell" 
(page 238, line 19) 4 

Pages 238, 239. Eyolf, son of Thorgisl Hewer, 
fights with the sons of Gudbrand, and " they 
all lay dead at their parting " ... 5 

Page 239, 11. 21, 22. "There fall the sons of 
Eid," Illugi and Eystein . . . . 6, y 

Page 240, 11. II, 12. "And he" (Thorgisl, 
son of Hermund) " smote at Mm {Thorgisl 
Hewer) " so that he fell and is now unfight- 
worthy ; " that he was killed, page 249, line 
18, proves ....... 8 

Page 240, 11. 24, 25. " Tanni fell before 
Bardi " . . . . . . • '9 

Pages 240, 241. Eyolf, son of Thorfinna, fights 
with Gefn's-Odd and " gat a great wound," 
and Bardi " did him scathe " = gave him his 
quietus ........ 10 

To these comes Gisli . . . . .11 

The total loss on the part of the Northerners, including 
Hall, was four. 

In setting forth the were-gild adjustment at the Thing, 
page 249, our author states : 

A. That Southerners were paired against Northerners : 

(6) I. Illugi J sons of I _ f i. Hun l^Gud^ 

(7) 2. Eystein j Eid j " \ 2. Lambkar | ^^^^^^ 

Notes. 303 

/• \ Tt- u- -D • (3- Thorod, son of 

(X) "?. Thorbiorn Brunison = ^ ^ tt j 

^'^^ -^ ( Hermund. 

(i) 4. Ketil f sons of ) _ f 4. Hall, son of Gud- 

(11)5. Gisli ( Thorgaut j ~~ \ mund. 

B. That there were left unatoned : 

(8) 6. Thorgisl Hewer, (5) 7. Eyolf, his son, (9) 8. Tanni 
the Handstrong, (10) 9. Eyolf, Thorfinna's son. 
But he leaves out of the account altogether 
(2) 10. Thorgaut (!) and (4) 1 1. Thorliot. In the 
verses attributed to Eric Wide-sight, p. 253, he 
says in the first that eleven, in the second nine 
fell from the South. This cannot be the genuine 
testimony of one and the same eye-witness. The 
first statement is evidently correct, as it agrees 
with the facts of the saga ; the second spurious, 
dating from the time when the present mis- 
calculation had crept into the saga. 
Page 244, 1. 12. "Let us drop our visors" — tokum 
ofan biinat varn. Our rendering is borne out by the 
statement in the next paragraph, that Bardi had "a 
mask over his face" — hefir grimu a hofSi sdr. The pas- 
sage has been overlooked by lexicographers. 

Page 244, 1. 26. " Spake Snorri : ' I am told, Thorgisl, 
that no man can set forth as well as thou the speech of 
truce.' " The real secret of Snorri's anxiety to get 
Thorgisl to bind himself unwittingly to peace with 
Bardi, and thereby dissociating himself from his enemies, 
was clearly this, that he had but lately been Halkel of 
Halkelstead's son-in-law, and brother-in-law to Illugi 
the Black and Tind, Snorri's pronounced enemies since 
the slaying of Stir, whom he thus deprived of an im- 
portant ally. 

Page 248, 11. 30, 31. "Thorgisl, the son of Ari, and 
Illugi, were appointed on behalf of the Southerners." 
There is an evident confusion in the story as to what part 
Illugi and his son Hermund respectively took in the 
affairs relating to Bardi. When the chase for Bardi was 

304 The Saga Library. 

called, we read (p. 232) : " But for that cause folk came 
not to Gilsbank, that Hermund was ridden to the ship," 
Again (p. 234): "That same day withal folk went to 
Whitewater-meads to fetch Hermund, who was wendine 
home again, and the messengers met him up from Thing- 
ness. There he leaveth behind all his train, and biddeth 
every man fare with him who might get away . . . and 
rideth after them." Next (p. 241) Hermund's part is 
foisted on Illugi : " Now it is to be told of Illugi that he 
cometh upon the field of deed," &c. Evidently we ought 
to read " Hermund " here. For Illugi could not be a 
party to a hostile pursuit of Bardi with intent to slay 
him, and yet sit as a judge in his case at the Althing. 

Page 251, 1. 33. "Maybe it is Bardi yonder on the 
other side that we see from here " — " vera ma nu, at 
Bar^i se fyrir handan, er he^an of ser." These words 
must be supposed to have been spoken at Gudmund's 
house of Maddervales, situate some distance up the 
valley that runs inland up from the bottom of Eyiafirth. 
But that is a long way from Galmastrand, no neigh- 
bouring point of it even being in view from Madder- 
vales. It seems almost as if the writer imagined that 
this strand was on the eastern instead of western side of 
the firth, and so near to the bottom of it that it could 
be seen from the valley itself, for only the innermost 
part of Eyiafirth could be seen from Gudmund's house. 
Moreover, this is said to have happened at night, and 
now it was autumn, and evenings drawing in fast, so that 
nothing could be seen at all, for we know from the 
saga already that Bardi was late bound for sea. Maybe 
the statement is due to someone who thought that 
Gudmund dwelt at Maddervales in Horgriverdale. That 
house indeed is situate on the upmost or innermost 
border of Galmastrand, but in such a manner that there 
is no view from it at all open towards this littoral tract. 
The whole passage must be spurious. 

Page 254, 1. 20. " Thorolf," read Thorod. 

Page 254, 1. 27. "Eyolf of Burg," read Thorod Kegvt-ard. 






Ornolf Fishdriver 

Thorolf Mostbeard m. 

(by former marriage) 

Hallstein m. Osk, 

d. of Thorstein the 


Thorstein Swart 

Ketil Flatneb 

Aud Deepminded m. Olaf 
the White 

Thorstein the Red 



Olaf Feilan 

I r- 

Thor stein Codbiter m. Thora 




Thorgrim the Priest m. 
Thordis, d. of Sur 

Thord Yeller 

Many children 

Bork the Thick, m. 
Thordis, d. of Sur 

Snorri the Priest Thurid of Frodis-water Sam 

II. SNORRi's OFFSPRING. See Eredw. Story, pp. 183-190. 

3o8 The Saga Library. 


Olaf the White m. Aud 
the Deepminded 

Thorstein the Red 

Olaf Feilan 




I 1 r r I i 1 . 

Helga Ingiald Thora Thord the Grani Vigdis Thordis 

Yeller m. 

Alfdis of 


r— ' 
Eyolf the Gray (and many more children) 




Ari the Learned 






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310 The Saga Library. 


Thorolf Bladderpate 

Vestar of (Onward) Ere 

Asgeir m. Helga, d. of 

Kiallak the Old 

Thorlak m. Thurid, d. 

of Audun Stoti 

I 1 ' 1 1 1 

Steinthor m. Bergthor Thormod Thord Wall-eye Helga 

Thurid, d. of m. Thorgerd, 

Thorgils Arisen d. of Thorbrand 

of Swanfirth 

Gunnlaug m. Thurid KoUi m. Sigrid, d. of 

the Wise, d. of Snorii Snorri the Pi'iesr 

the Priest 




Biora Blinding-snout m. Geirrid, 
sister to Geirrod of Ere 


I — 

Thorolf Halt-foot 

1 — . 

Gunnfrid m. Thorbein 

of Thorbeinstead 

, I , 


Thorgerd in. 
Vigfus of 

Geirrid m. Thorolf 

Thorarin the 
Swart m. Aud. 

Thorstein Snowshoe 

Fingeir of Swanfirth Sel-Thorir 




Thorbrand m. Thurid (al. Thorbiorg) 

I 1 T"* 1 1 1 

Thorleif Snorri Thorod Thorfin Thormod Thorgerd, d. 

Kimbi I 



The Saga Library. 

VII. GILSBANK FAMILY, pp. 30, 153, 218, foil Cf.Landn. 

i. 18 ; ii. 1,2; iii. i. Saga of Gunnlaug the 

Wormtongue, ch. iii. 

Ketil Keelfarer 



Biorn Roughfoot Gunnlaug Thrand 

" Nefja ' 



Thorir Thorstein 


Oriig Hromund 
the Old 






Hrosskel Asbiornm.Thorbiorg Eid 

Velaug m. Gunnlaug Hallkel 
I Wormtongue I 

Thurid Dandle m. Hallkel 


lUugi Eystein 

Grima m. Thorarin 



I ; r 

Tind Finnward 


lUugi m. Ingibiorg 



I 1 1 — 

Gunnlaug the Wormtongue Ketil Hermund 

' The "sons of Hermund," Thorod and Thorgils, who are mentioned 
in the Heath-slayings' Story, were the sons of Hermund Gudmundson of 
Ternmere, Bardi's uncle, not of Hermund lUugison, as Vigfusson thinks, 
Timatal, 441, 462, an assumption to which he has given undue chrono- 
l<^cal importance. 




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/I 7 SA of Swineisle, daugh- 
Ai'. ter of Kiallak of Kial- 
lakstead on Midfellstrand, 
mother to Tinforni and 
Eyolf, 54. 
Alf-a-dales, Alfr i Dolum, 
father to Aud, the wife of 
Thorstein of Hafsfirthisle, 


Alf the Little, Alfr Litli, dwelt 
at Thambardale, on the 
southern side of Bitter, and 
was a Thingman of Snorri 
the Priest, and looked after 
his drift-rights round Gud- 
laugshead, 157; is robbed 
by Uspak of a quantity of 
new-cut whale flesh, 158- 
160; is attacked in his house 
by Uspak, and robbed, 161 ; 
his case set right by Snorri 
the Priest, 165 ; his house 
is again broken into by 
Uspak, but he escapes by a 
secret passage and goes to 
Snorri the Priest invoking 
his aid, 165, 166. 

Alfgeir, Alfgeirr, a part- 
owner with Biorn in a vessel 
arriving in Salteremouth, 
takes quarters with Thora- 

rin the Swatt of Mewlithe, 
32 ; joins him in the fight 
with Thorbiorn the Thick, 
34-36; takes shelter with 
him at Arnkel tlie Priest's, 
42-44 ; abides by Arnkel's 
counsel as to how to meet 
the blood-suit of Thorbiorn 
the Thick, 49. 

Alof, Alof, daughter of Gud- 
mund of Asbiorn's-ness, pre- 
pares the victuals for her 
brother Bardi's expedition, 
207, 216. 

Alof, Kiannok (Kjannok), so 
by-named to distinguish her 
from Alof, Bardi's sister, to 
both of whom she had been 
foster-mother, '* wise ex- 
ceedingly, and ancient 
things were stored in her 
mind," dights with Bardi's 
sister the victuals at Burg 
for his expedition, 207, 216; 
feels Bardi's body for in- 
dications of coming wounds, 
and winds round his neck a 
large pair of beads that save 
his life afterwards, 216, 217, 
cf. 236. 

Alof, daughter of Snorri the 


The Saga Library. 

Priest, married to Jorund 
Thorfinson, 184, 189, 

Ari the Learned, son of Thor- 
gils, Ari J)orgilsson, Fro'Si, 
quoted by the author of the 
Ere-dwellers' saga as his 
authority on genealogies, 12. 

Ari, son of Mar, Masson, of 
Reek-knolls, 154. 

Arnbiorn the Strong, Arn- 
bjorn sterki, son of Asbrand 
of Combe, 27 ; takes berth 
in a ship bound for Norway 
in Streamfirth, to go seek 
his brother Biorn abroad, 
T02; smites Thorleif Kimbi 
on the neck with a boiling 
hot stirring stick, 103; sets 
up a house at Bank, 104, 
108 ; wards himself in his 
house against an onslaught 
by the sons of Thorbrand, 
no, in; refuses to re- 
taliate on them though 
urged by his Broadwick 
kinsmen, in ; too strong 
to be matched in plays and 
sports against any but his 
brother Biorn, 113; dis- 
missed, with other Broad- 
wickers, by Steinthor from 
his band when he brings the 
lawful thrall's-gild to Thor- 
brand of Swanfirth for Egil 
the Strong, 117. 
Arngrim, Arngrimr, fosterling 
of Audolf of Audolfstead, 
one of Bardi's followers, 
204, 210, 220. 
Arngrim, son of Thorarin the 
Priest, son of Kiallak the 

Old, commonly called Stir, 
q. V. 

Arni, the son of Ami, 184. 

Arni, the son of Arnmod, 184. 

Arni, son of Thorgaut, and 
brother to Gisli, married to 
Astrid, daughter to Thora- 
rin of Thwartwater-lithe, 
joins in chasing Bardi, 231 ; 
sorely wounded in the battle 
on the Heath, 242. 

Arnkel the Priest, Arnkell 
go^i, son of Thorolf Halt- 
foot, 13 ; dwelt at Lairstead 
by Vadilshead, 20 ; his per- 
son described, 20 ; defends 
Geirrid, his sister, of Mew- 
lithe, at the Thorsness 
Thing, against Snorri and 
Thorbiorn the Thick, on 
the charge of witchery, 29, 
30; harbours Thorarin the 
Swart, after his fight with 
Thorbiorn the Thick, 42- 
44 ; takes counsel with 
Thorarin, Vermund, and Alf- 
geir, as to how to meet the 
blood-suit after Thorbiorn 
the Thick, and advises that 
the guilty parties go abroad, 
as soon as possible, in Alf- 
geir's ship lying up in Salt- 
eremouth, 49 ; but on 
Snorri's burning of that ship 
Arnkel got them another at 
Daymealness, half of which 
he bought and gave to Tho- 
rarin, 5 1 ; sees Thorarin 
and Vermund off on leaving 
Iceland as far as EUidis-isle, 
5 1 ; refuses to accept Ver- 

Index I. 


mund the Blender's Bare- 
serks, 58; refuses also his 
niece, Thorgerd, the widow 
of Vigfus of Drapalithe, in 
the first instance, to take up 
the blood-suit after her 
husband, to which, however, 
in the end he indignantly 
consents, 62-65; g^^^ Snorri 
fined heavily for the slaying 
of Vigfus, and Mar Hall- 
ward's son outlawed for 
three years, 65 ; rights the 
wrongs done by his father 
to Ulfar of Ulfarsfell, 77, 
78; and in requital thereof 
seizes seven oxen belonging 
to the former, and slaugh- 
ters them for his own house- 
hold use, 78 ; seizes his 
father's thralls in the act of 
burning Ulfar in his house, 
and hangs them at Vadils- 
head, 79 ; he accepts Ulfar's 
handselling of himself and 
all his belongings into his 
ward, thereby incurring the 
enmity of the sons of Thor- 
brand (and really signing 
his own death-warrant), 79; 
is prosecuted by Snorri for 
the slaying of his father's 
thralls, and pays for them 
ordinary thrall-gild, 80-82 ; 
shares with Ulfar of Ulfars- 
fell all Orlig's goods at his 
death, and incurs therefor 
the ill-will of the Thor- 
brandsons, who by law 
claimed the right to inherit 
their freedman, 82, 83; en- 

tertains Ulfar at an autumn 
feast and gives him good 
gifts, 83, 84 ; espies Cun- 
ning-Gils running from the 
murder of Ulfar with the 
shield, and bids his folk 
give chase to him and slay 
him, if he should be Ulfar's 
bane's man, which they do, 
84, 85 ; refuses to join his 
father in reclaiming Crow- 
nesswood from Snorri, 87, 

88 ; gives lyke-help and 
burial to the former, 88, 

89 ; takes to himself all the 
goods of his father, 88, 
89 ; digs his father up again 
and gives him a second 
burial at Haltfoot's-head, 
90-92 ; ill content at Snorri's 
possession of Crowness- 
wood, he slays his follower 
Hawk, when fetching tim- 
ber thence, and appropriates 
it to himself, 92, 93; non- 
suits Snorri in the blood- 
suit for the slaughter of 
Hawk, 93, 96 ; escapes the 
attack of Snorri's hired as- 
sassin, Thorleif, and slays 
him, 94, 95 ; is attacked at 
night at Orligstead by Snorri 
and the sons of Thorbrand, 
and slain, 97-100 ; " laid in 
howe beside the sea out by 
Vadilshead," loi ; the 
blood-suit after him so 
feebly pushed on that it was 
found expedient to amend 
the law of blood-suits, loi ; 
immediately after his death 


The Saga Library. 

Thorolf Halt-foot begins to 
walk again, 171. 

Arnmod, ArnmdSr, the fore- 
father of the famous Armod- 
lings of Norway, 184. 

AsBiRNiNGS (family of the), 
in Skagafiord, descendants 
of Thorstein Codbiter, the 
son of Snorri the Priest, 185. 

AsBiORN the Wealthy, Asbjorn 
Au^gi, father-in-law to II- 
lugi the Black, 30. 

AsBRAND of Combe, As- 
brandr at Kambi, father of 
Biorn the Champion of the 
Broadwickers, and Arnbiorn 
the Strong, and Thurid of 
Frodis-water, 26, 27, 50; 
tends to Biorn's wounds on 
his return from the fight 
with Thorod Scat-catcher, 
74 ; and pays on his behalf 
the mangilds for the sons 
of Thorir Wooden-leg, at the 
Thorsness Thing, 75 ; sends 
Arnbiorn abroad to find out 
the whereabouts of Biorn, 

AsDis, daughter of Slaying 
Stir, "manly-souled woman 
and somewhat highminded, " 
32 ; is wooed by the Bare- 
serk Halli, 66-69 ; married 
to Snorri the Priest, 70, 71 ; 
her children enumerated, 

AsGEiR, son of Vestar, married 
to Helga, daughter of Kial- 
lak the Old, their son 
Thorlak, the father of Stein- 
thor of Ere, 11, 26; allies 

himself with Thorgrim Kial- 
lakson to break the sanctity 
of Thorsness Thing, 14; 
fights with the Thorsness- 
ings in consequence, 15, 

AsLAK of Longdale, Aslakr f 
Langadal (son of Thor- 
berg), joins Thorgest of 
Woodstrand in separating 
the Thorsnessings and Kial- 
lekings fighting at Thorsness 
Thing, 15, 16 ; comes with 
a band of thirty men to 
separate the fighters at 
Swanfirth, 121, 123. 

AsMUND the Long-hoary, As- 
mundr Haerulangr, father to 
Thordis, the wife of Glum, 
and to Grettir the Strong, 

AsTRiD, Astn'^r, daughter of 
Rolf the Hersir, wife to 
Kiallak the Old, 12. 

AsTRiD, daughter of Thorarin 
of Thwartwater-lithe, mar- 
ried to Ami Thorgautson, 

AuD, AuSr, daughter of Alf-a- 
Dales, mother of Thorstein 
Thorgilson of Hafsfirthisle, 


AuD, daughter of Snorri the 
Priest, see Unn. 

AuD, the wife of Thorarin 
the Swart, of Mewlithe, 27 ; 
bestirs herself with her 
women to part her husband 
and Thorbiorn the Thick 
fighting, whereby her hand 
is cut off, 35 ; advises her 

Index I. 


husband to leave Mewlithe 
after the fight with Thor- 
biorn the Thick, and take 
shelter with powerful kins- 
men, which he does, 38. 

AuDOLF, Au^dlfr, a goodman 
of Audolfstead, one of 
Bardi's following, 200, 209. 

AuDUN Stote, Au^unn stoti, 
father-in-law of Thorlak, son 
of Asgeir of Ere, 21. 

AuTH the Deep-minded, Au'Sr 
djiipiiSga, daughter of 
Ketil Flatneb, 3 ; married 
to Olaf the White, King of 
Dublin, 4 ; harbours her 
brother Biorn for a winter, 
10; comes to Iceland, and 
settles in the lands of the 
Dales, II. 

Bard, Bir^r, the son of Hos- 
kuld, one of Snorri's men 
on his second journey to 
Burgfirth in revenge for the 
slaying of Stir, 154, 289. 

Bardi, al. Slaying (Vfga-) 
Bardi, son of Gudmund, 
183 ; hears the news of the 
slaying of his brother Hall, 
and offers the skipper Thor- 
gils Hall's goods in reward 
for his kindness and honesty 
towards Hall, 193; is struck 
in the face by his mother, 
for daring to sit in Hall's 
seat, while he is yet un- 
avenged, 193 ; asks, by the 
advice of his foster-father, 
Thorarin, atonement at the 
hands of the relatives of 

the sons of Harek at three 
successive Althings in vain, 
194, 195; is insulted by 
Gisli Thorgautson, 194-196; 
secures, for Thorarin's pecu- 
liar plan of revenge, the ser- 
vice of Lyng-Torfi, 196; 
takes counsel with Thorarin 
how to get up an expedi- 
tion to Burgfirth, 199-202 ; 
secures his following at the 
man-mote of Thingere, 203- 
205 ; bandies words with 
Thord Fox, and lays heavy 
work on him for his pert- 
ness, 205, 206 ; takes the 
missing horses to Thord of 
Broadford, 208 ; gathers in 
his following, 209-211 ; his 
breakfast before starting, 
212, 213 ; plays a trick on 
his mother so as to get his 
expedition rid of her, 213- 
215; receives from his fos- 
ter-father the good sword of 
Thorgaut, 215, 216 ; is ex- 
amined by his foster-mother 
as to whether he be like to 
be wounded, and receives 
from her a large pair of 
beads twined round his 
neck, which saves his life 
afterwards, 216, 217, cf. 
236 ; goes on his journey 
and guests at Nial's in Nips- 
dale, 221, 222; goes next 
on the Heath, where he 
baits night-long, 222 ; sends 
from Copsedale two spies to 
find out how matters stand 
in Burgfirth, 223; sets on 


The Saga Library. 

Thorgaut's sons on Gold- 
mead, allotting Ketil Brusi 
for himself and his brother 
Stein, Gisli for Day and 
Olaf, Thormod for Stein- 
grim and Thord Fox, 228 ; 
slays Gisli, and forthwith 
retreats to the Heath, 229, 
230 ; his retreat is greatly 
blamed by his following, 
232, 233; takes unwillingly 
his stand on the ness which 
his foster-father had not 
recommended for a fighting- 
stead, and arrays his men 
and gives out his orders, 
234 ; provokes the battle on 
the Heath by showing forth 
Thorgaut's sword with which 
he had killed Gisli his son, 
235,. 236 ; fights in the first 
brunt of the battle with 
Ketil Thorgautson, and 
Thorgaut his father, and 
slays both, likewise he deals 
with Thorbiorn of Walls, 
235-237 ; fights in the third 
brunt of the battle with 
Tanni and slays him, 240 ; 
retreats at the request of 
Thorberg and the rest of 
his company, on seeing a 
large fresh band approach- 
ing from the south, 241 ; 
goes to his foster-father and 
tells him the tidings, 243 ; 
seeks from his relatives and 
friends supply of victuals 
for a body-guard he must 
maintain in his defence, and 
divorces his wife on account 

of his father-in-law's miserli- 
ness in the matter, 243, 
244 ; meets in disguise 
Snorri the Priest and wins 
him over, 244 ; pays no 
were-gild for those who fell 
of the Southerners, but to- 
gether with fourteen of his 
followers undergoes banish- 
ment for three years, 249, 
250 ; he and his brothers 
hand their property over to 
their kinsman Thorod Keg- 
ward, 250, 251 ; receives as 
free gift from Haldor his 
ship " with yard and gear," 
goes abroad, is wrecked on 
Sigluness, where he loses 
all his goods, 251 ; is taken 
in for the winter by Gud- 
mund the Rich, 251-253 : 
on Thorod Kegward refus- 
ing to restore him his lands 
which he wanted to sell, 
Eyolf, son of Gudmund, ad- 
vances him on those lands 
the money he wants, 254 ; 
goes to Norway, and is well 
received by King Olaf the 
Holy, 255 ; next he fares to 
Denmark, and then returns 
to Iceland, in great straits 
for money, and Eyolf gives 
up to him and his brothers 
their lands, 255, 256 ; mar- 
ries Aud, the daughter of 
Snorri, and after two years' 
stay in Iceland goes with 
her to Norway, staying with 
Svein in Thiotta, where he 
puts Aud from him, 256- 

Index I. 


258 ; he goes and takes 
military service with the 
King of Garthrealm, and 
there falls in battle, 258, 

Barne-Kiallak, see Kiallak 

(son of Biorn the Strong). 
Bergthor, BergJ)drr, son of 
Thorlak Asgeirson of Ere, 
and Thurid the daughter of 
Audun Stote, 21 ; joins his 
brother, Steinthor, in the 
fight of Swordfirth, and is 
smitten in the midst, 125; 
and dies of that wound, 
130 ; the slaying of him ad- 
judged at Thorsness Thing, 


Biorn, Bjorn, a Norwegian, 

part-owner with Alfgeir in 
a vessel which came to 
Salteremouth, 32. 
Biorn, a sister's son of Vigfus 
in Drapalithe, " a rash-spo- 
ken man and unyielding," 
52 ; smites Helgi, Snorri's 
shepherd, with a pikestaff, at 
the sheepfolding of Tongue, 

52, 53- 

Biorn, son of Bolverk Blind- 
ing-snout, husband of Geir- 
rid of Burgdale, father of 
Thorolf Halt-foot, 13. 

Biorn, the Champion of the 
Broadwickers, Brei'Svikinga 
kappi, son of Asbrand of 
Combe, 26, 27 ; begins to 
visit Thurid of Frodis- water 
after the death of her first 
husband, 50 ; repeats the 
visits after her marriage with 

Thorod Scat-catcher, 72, 73 ; 
is way-laid by Thorod and 
his band, and overcomes 
them, killing two sons of 
Thorir Wooden-leg, 73, 74; 
is outlawed, goes and joins 
the vikings of Jomsburg, 75 ; 
returning to Iceland, makes 
Cnear in Broadwick his 
home for one year, but at 
his father's death takes the 
house of Combe, 104, 106; 
takes again to visiting Thu- 
rid of Frodis- water, 105-108; 
is overtaken by a snow- 
storm raised by Thorgrima 
Witchface, 106, 108 ; is 
deemed an over-match at 
sport for every man but his 
brother Arnbiorn, 113 ; 
seizes at Play halls Egil, a 
thrall of Thorbrand of Swan- 
firth, an intending assassin, 
115; dismissed from his 
band by Steinthor of Ere, 
when he brings Thorbrand 
the thrall's-gild for Egil, 
117; on learning that Snorri 
had slily stolen a march 
upon Steinthor, he hastens 
with his band to join him 
in the battle of Swanfirth, 
coming in just as truce is 
settled, 122; his dealings 
with Snorri coming to Combe 
to take his life, 132-134; 
goes abroad, 134; saves 
Gudleif, son of Gudlaug the 
Wealthy, from being slain or 
enthralled in North America, 
where he turns up in the 


The Saga Library. 

character of a chief among 
the Indians, and sends by 
Gudleif gifts to Thurid and 
Kiartan of Frodis-water, 179- 

BioRN, son of Helgi,the Priest 
of Templegarth, 29, in. 

BiORN the Easierrjer, hinn 
austrseni, son of Ketil Flat- 
neb, fostered in lamtaland 
with Earl Kiallak, 3 ; 
marries Giaflaug, the earl's 
daughter: goes to Norway 
and seizes from the king's 
baihffs his father's lands : 
is driven out of them and 
outlawed by King Harald : 
flies to Thorolf Mostbeard, 
5, 6 ; sent by Thorolf with 
a longship west over the 
sea, 6 ; goes, disgusted at 
finding his kindred Christian 
there, after two years, to 
Iceland, makes haven in 
Broadfirth, takes land be- 
twixt Staff-river and Lava- 
firth, and dwells at Burgholt 
in Bearhaven, 10; enter- 
tains for one winter his 
sister Auth (q. v.), until she 
took for herself the lands of 
the Dales, 1 1 ; his death 
and burial-place, 11. 

BiORN the Strong, sterki, son 
of Kiallak, an earl in lamta- 
land, brother-in-lawtoBiorn 
the Easterner, 3. 

BioRN, son of Ottar, the son 
of Biorn the Easterner, 
father to Vigfus of Drapa- 
lithe, 12, 52. 

Biorn Roughfoot, buna, son 
of Grim, a " hersir " of Sogn, 
father to Ketil Flatneb, 3. 

Bitter - Oddi, Bitru - Oddi, 
first cousin to Thorstein of 
Hafsfirthisle, 154. 

BoLLi, son of Bolli and Gud- 
run, the daughter of Osvif, 

Bolli, son of Thorleik, the 
husband of Gudrun, daugh- 
ter of Osvif, 153. 

BoLVERK Blinding - snout, 
blindingatrjona, father to 
Biorn, the father of Thorolf 
Halt-foot, 13. 

BoRK the Thick, Borkr digri, 
son of Thorstein Codbiter, 
18; dwelt at Holyfell after 
his father, and married his 
brother's widow, Thordis, 
Sur's daughter, 20; provides 
his nephew and stepson 
Snorri with means to go 
abroad, 21 ; is loth to har- 
bour him on his return, 22, 
190 ; bids his wife, Thordis 
and her son Snorri (the 
Priest) " welcome at their 
best " the slayer of the for- 
mer's brother and the latter's 
uncle, 23 ; beats Thordis 
for her highmindedness, and 
incurs Snorri's enduring 
wrath, 23 ; is ousted out of 
the estate of Holyfell by 
Snorri, and goes to Midfell- 
strand to abide at Bork- 
stead there, after Thordis 
having divorced him, 25 ; 
his sons, as Thingmen 

Index I. 


of Snorri, fight Uspak at 
Ere in Bitter, 169; his 
bones taken out of earth, 

Brand, the eldest son of 

Thorgrim, the Priest of 

Bearhaven, 21. 
Brand the Bounteous, enn 

orvi, son of Vermund the 

Slender, married to Sigrid, 

daughter of Snorri the 

Priest, 183. 
Bruni, Bruni, son of Geir- 

mund, father to Thorbiorn 

of Walls, 223. 

Cunning - Gils, Spa - Gils, 
*' under Lava," ** a foresee- 
ing man," is requested by 
Thorbiorn the Thick to find 
out, what has become of his 
lost stud-horses, 32 ; his 
vague reply, 33. 

Cunning-Gils, of Cunning- 
Gils-stead in Thorswater- 
dale, " a man of many chil- 
dren and very poor," takes 
a bribe from Thorolf Halt- 
foot to kill Ulfar of Ulfars- 
fell, and, having done the 
deed, is pursued by Arnkel's 
men and slain forthwith, 82- 

Day, Dagr, of Asbiorn's-ness, 
son of a sister of the mother 
of Bardi (Thorgerd ?), joins 
his expedition to Burgfirth, 
202, 214, 221, 228. 

Egil the Strong, sterki, a 

thrall of Thorbrand of Swan- 
firth, herding his sheep, 
112; is sent to Playhall- 
meads to assassinate one or 
another of the Broadwick 
folk, and, failing in the en- 
deavour, is taken and slain 
by them, 113-116. 

EiD, son of Skeggi {i.e., Mid- 
firth Skeggi), father to lUugi 
and Eystein, lived at Ridge, 
reproaches Gisli Thorgaut- 
son severely for the insult 
offered to Bardi, in seeking 
atonement for his brother 
Hall, 196; urges nowise 
the chasing of Bardi, 231 ; 
speaks in favour of peace 
at the Althing on behalf of 
Bardi, 248. 

EiLiF, a go^i of Hunawater 
Thing, 204. 

EiNAR, of Thwartwater, fver- 
aeingr, son of Eyolf, brother 
to Gudmund the Rich, 
father-in-law to Snorri the 
Priest, 189 ; and Thorgils 
Arison, 209. 

EiNAR, son of Jarnskeggi, be- 
friends Bardi when ship- 
wrecked in Eyiafirth, 252, 

Eric the Red, Eirikr rau^i, 

prosecuted by Thorgest the 
Old and the sons of Thord 
Yeller, for having slain the 
sons of Thorgest, escapes by 
the aid of friends, and dis- 
covers Greenland, 54, 55. 
Eric Wide-sight, a skald, 
dwelt at Bowerfeli, and 


The Saga Library. 

joined Bardi's expedition, 
200, 210, 220; sings the 
foreboding of his mind as 
to the impending Heath- 
fight, 222 ; blames Bardi 
his retreat, 233 ; fights and 
slays Thorliot the champion 
of Walls in the first brunt of 
the battle on the Heath, 
238; deals with Thorgisl 
Hewer in the second brunt, 
239 ; is banished the coun- 
try for three years together 
with the rest of Bardi's folk, 
250 ; tells, in a song, the 
story of the battle on the 
Heath, 253, 254. 

Erling, son of Thorolf Skialg, 
commonly called E. Skialg- 
son, great - grandson to 
Horda-Kari, a magnate of 
Rogaland in Norway, 22, 

Ern, Orn, father to Ingolf, the 
first settler, 6. 

Ern of ErnknoU, father to 
Thorir Wooden-leg, 33. 

Ern, son of Thorir Wooden- 
leg, 38 ; joins Thorod the 
Scatcatcher in waylaying 
Biorn the Broadwick Cham- 
pion, by whom he is slain, 

73, 74- 
Eyolf, Eyj61fr, Eyjulfr, son of 

^sa of Swineisle (brother to 
Tinforni), aids Eric the Red 
against Thorgest the Old, 54. 
Eyolf of Burg, Bardi's brother- 
in-law, joins his expedition 
to Burgfirth, 202, 216, 221 ; 
fights in the third brunt of 
the battle on the Heath 

with Thormod the son of 
Thorgaut, and is severely 
wounded, 241 ; redeems for 
the sons of Gudmund their 
lands, buys Bardi out of his 
share, and puts Stein and 
Steingrim into the estates, 

Eyolf the Halt, halti, son 
of Gudmund the Rich, be- 
friends Bardi, when ship- 
wrecked in Eyiafirth on his 
first journey abroad, 252- 
254 ; advances him money 
on his lands and restores 
these to him returning to 
Iceland, 254-256. 

Eyolf, son of Odd, dwelt at 
Asmund's-nip, one of Bardi's 
following, 201, 210, 220. 

Eyolf, the son of Snorri the 
Priest, dwelt at Lambstead 
on the Mires, 185, 189. 

Eyolf the Gray (cf. vol. i.), 
son of Thord the Yeller, "a 
kinsman of Bork" the Thick 
(they were first cousins, see 
note to p. 22), 22 ; comes 
to Holyfell to tell Bork he 
hasslain GisliSurson(Bork's 
brother-in-law) in revenge 
for Bork's brother, Thor- 
grim (Bork's wife's, Thordis 
Sur's daughter's, first hus- 
band), 23, 190; con- 
temptuously received, and 
wounded severely <by Thor- 
dis, for which, by Bork's 
cowardice, he awards him- 
self a goodly atonement, and 
goes away, 23. 


Index I. 


Eyolf, son of Thorfinna the 
Skaldwoman, joins in the 
chaseforBardi,232; fights in 
the third brunt of the battle 
on the Heath with Gefn's- 
Odd, whom he wounds 
in the face, receiving him- 
self a mortal wound in re- 
turn, 240, 241 ; no were- 
gild paid in atonement for 
him, 249. 

Eyolf, son of Thorgisl Hewer, 
joins the chase for Bardi, 
231, 232 ; fights with the 
sons of Gudbrand, Hun 
and Lambkar, in the second 
brunt of the battle on the 
Heath, and they all fall dead 
at each other's hands, 238, 
239 ; no were-gild paid in 
atonement for him, 249. 

Eystein, Eysteinn, son of Eid 
Skeggison, joins the chase 
of Bardi, 231 ; fights in the 
second brunt of the battle 
on the Heath, jointly with 
Illugi, his brother, against 
Stein and Steingrim, Bardi's 
brothers, and is slain, 238, 
239 ; is paired, for atone- 
ment, with one of the sons 
of Gudbrand, 249. 

Eyvind the Eastman, father 
to Helgi the Lean, and hus- 
band of Rafarta, daughter 
of Kiarfal, King of the Irish, 

FiNGEiR, the son of Thorstein 
Snowshoe,companion settler 
with Geirrod of Ere, and 

great-grandfather of the 
Thorbrandsons of Swan- 
firth, II. 

Freystein the Rascal, Frey- 
steinn b6fi, foster-son, and 
reputed natural son, of Thor- 
brand Thorfinson of Swan- 
firth, 79, 80 ; watches his 
sheep in winter, and is set 
to "spy out an occasion 
against Arnkel," of which,' 
when it offers, he is sent to 
warn Snorri, 97 ; watches 
the sheep in Swanfirth while 
Egil the thrall goes on an 
assassin's errand, and has a 
vision foreboding bloodshed 
onthescreeof Geirvor, 113, 
114; fights in the battle of 
Swordfirth and is slain, 126, 
127 ; his slaying adjudged 
at Thorsness Thing, 131. 

Frodi, one of the Gislungs, 
most likely son of Thorgaut 
and owner or tenant of 
Frodistead, sorely wounded 
in the battle of the Heath, 

Gefn's-Odd, Gefnar Oddr, a 
foreman at Thordis Gefn's 
house, joins Bardi's band of 
revenge, 200, 204, 209, 234; 
fights in the third brunt of 
the battle on the Heath with 
Eyolf, son of Thorfinna, and 
wounds him severely, after 
himself having been badly 
wounded in the face, 240, 

The Saga Library. 

GEiRthe Priest (son of Asgeir), 

Geirleif, Geirleifr (son of 
Eric), a settler of Bard- 
strand, 12. 

Geirrid, GeirriSr, sister of 
Geirrod of Ere, comes to 
Iceland, and accepts from 
her brother a dwelling in 
Burgdale, 13; kept open 
house for all passers-by, 13. 

Geirrid, daughter of Thorolf 
Halt-foot, married to Thor- 
olf, the son of Heriolf Hol- 
kinrazi, 14 ; lives as widow at 
Mewlithewith her son Thor- 
arin, 27; teaches cunning 
to Gunnlaug Thorbiornson 
of Frodis-water, 27, 28; 
warns Gunnlaug of ride-by- 
nights, 28, 29 ; is summoned 
by Gunnlaug's father for 
having tormented Gunn- 
laug by wizardry, 29, 30; 
her whetting of Thorarin 
on his being charged for 
horse-stealing, 34 ; receives 
with gladness the news of 
the fight, 37, 38; advises 
Thorarin to take shelter 
with Vermund the Slender 
or Arnkel the Priest, 39; 
sends word to Thorarin that 
Odd, Katla's son, had struck 
off the hand of Aud, 44 ; 
outwits Katla of Holt in the 
art of sorcery, 47. 

Geirrod, Geirro^r, the settler 
of Swanfirth from Thors- 
river and of its eastern tracts 
unto Longdale, 11 ; gave 

dwelling in Burgdale to his 
sister Geirrid, 13. 

Gerd, GerSr, daughter of 
Kiallak the Old, wife of 
Thormod the Priest, son of 
Odd the Strong, 1 2. 

Gest, see Guest. 

GiAFLAUG, Gjaflaug, daughter 
of Kiallak, an earl in lamta- 
land in Sweden, 3 ; wedded 
to Biorn the Easterner, 5. 

GiSLi, son of Thorbiorn Sur, 
generally called Gisli Sur- 
son, slays Thorgrim the 
Priest, son of Thorstein 
Codbiter, his brother-in- 
law, in revenge for Vestein 
Vesteinson his foster-brother 
(andbrother to his wife Aud), 
20 ; slain by Eyolf the Gray, 
22, 23, 190. 

Gisli, son of Thorgaut (re- 
lated to that Gisli to whom 
Grettir gave the flogging), 
194; insults Bardi when 
craving atonement for his 
brother at the Althing, 195, 
196; goes from Thorgaut- 
stead to Goldmead and 
tells there a dream boding 
impending harm to them, 
227 ; is slain by Bardi, 227, 
229; is valued at half a 
were-gild against Hall Gud- 
mundson, 249. 

GiSLUNGS, a collective family 
term, including, in a wider 
sense, the allies of Thor- 
gaut of Thorgautstead, who 
fought in the battle on the 
Heath, 249 ; in a narrower 

Index I. 


sense : Thorgaut himself, his 
sonsGisli, Ketil, Ami, Thor- 
mod, Frodi (?), and Ami's 
father-in-law, Thorarin of 
Thwartwaterlithe, 242 ; in 
a still narrower sense, per- 
haps, it is used, 218. 

GizuR theWhite (son of Teit), 
132 ; preaches Christ's law 
in Iceland, 135; sends a 
priest to Holyfell, to do 
service there, 151. 

Glum, Gliimr, son of Uspak 
of Ere in Bitter (cf. vol. i., 
index), 157, 165, 170; after 
his father's death he married 
Thordis, daughter of As- 
mund Long-hoary, the sis- 
ter of Grettir the Strong, 

Grettir the Strong, son of 
Asmund the Long-hoary, 

Grim, Grimr, a "hersir" of 
Sogn, father to Biorn Rough- 
foot, 3. 

Grim, son of Thorstein Cod- 
biter, see Thorgrim. 

Grima, Grima, daughter of 
Halkel of Halkelstead, wife 
to Thorgils Arison, 247. 

Gris, Griss, see Kollgris. 

Gro, daughter of Geirleif of 
Bardstrand, wife to Ottar, 
son of Biorn the Easterner, 

GuDBRAND, Gu^brandr, 

Bardi's brother-in-law, dwelt 
" west " in Willowdale (see 
note to p. 211, 11. 8-12), 
211, 256, 257. 

GuDLAUG, son of Snorri the 
Priest, a monk, 189. 

GuDLAUG of Streamfirth, son 
of Thorfin, the son of Gud- 
laug the Wealthy, 184. 

GuDLAUG the Wealthy of 
Streamfirth, son of Thor- 
mod, 179, 184. 

GuDLEiF, Gu^leifr, son of 
Gudlaug the Wealthy of 
Streamfirth, a great seafarer, 
sails to Dublin, and return- 
ing thence by the west of 
Ireland, is blown away to 
America, where he is saved 
from the Indians by their 
chief Biorn the Broad - 
wickers' Champion, from 
whom Gudleif brings gifts 
back for Thurid and Kiar- 
tan of Frodis-water, 179- 


Gudmund, Gu'Smundr (son of 
Solmund), of Asbiorn's-ness, 
father to the Gudmundsons, 
Hall, Bardi, &c., 192 ; dies 
from grief after hearing the 
news of the death of his son 
Hall, 193. 

Gudmund the Rich, hinn riki, 
son of Eyolf, the great mag- 
nate of Eyiafirth, ob. 1025, 
183; entertains Bardi and 
his fellow-outlaws for a 
winter, when shipwrecked in 
Eyiafirth on their first jour- 
ney abroad, 252-254; his 
death, 256. 

GuDNY, daughter of Bodvar, 
married to Sturla Thordson, 
present at the taking out of 


The Saga Library. 

earth of the bones of Snorri 
and his mother and of Bork 
the Thick, 185 ; her evi- 
dence on the size of the 
bones, 185, 186. 

GuDNY, daughter of Thorolf 
Heriolfson, dwelt at Mew- 
lithe, 14; married Vermund 
the Slender, 27 ; entertains 
her brother, Thorarin the 
Swart, after his fight with 
Thorbiorn the Thick, 40. 

GuDRUN, daughter of Gud- 
mund of Asbiorn's-ness, 
married to Gudbrand, who 
dwelt " west" in Willowdale, 

GuDRUN, daughter of Osvif, 
goes to reside at Holyfell, 
153; was ever befriended 
of Snorri the Priest, 183 ; 
rebuilt the church of Holy- 
fell in company with Snorri 
the Priest, 190. 

GuDRUN, daughter of Snorri 
the Priest, married to Kalf 
of Sunhome, 184, 189. 

GuDRUN, daughter of Thor- 
biorn, wife of Bardi, whom 
he puts away from him on 
account of her father's miser- 
liness, 243, 244. 

Guest, son of Biorn, the son 
of Helgi the Priest of 
Templegarth, 29, in. 

Guest, otherwise Thorgest, 
son of Thorhall of lorvi, 
deemed somewhat of a weak- 
ling, is fostered after his 
father's death by Thorleik, 
191 ; is insulted by Stir by 

the offer of a mocking 
atonement for his father, so 
he slays Stir, and takes 
refuge with friends in Burg- 
firth, who get him off to 
Norway, whence he goes to 
Constantinople and never 
returns to Iceland, 192. 

GuNNAR of Lithend (son of 1 
Hamund), 132. 

GuNNAR, son of Thorstein 
Gislison of By, slain by 
Snorri's men together with 
his father, in revenge for 
Stir, 154, 192. 

GuNNFRiD, Gunnfri^r, daugh- 
ter of Thorolf Halt-foot, wife 
to Thorbein of Thorbein- 
stead, 13. 

GuNNLAUG the Wormtongue, 
son of Illugi of Gilsbank, 

GuNNLAUG, son of Stcinthor 

of Ere, married to Thurid 

the Wise, the daughter of 

Snorri the Priest, 184. 

GuNNLAUG, son of Thorbiom 
the Thick of Frodis-water, 
learns cunning from Geirrid 
of Mewlithe, 27 ; is tormen- 
ted by ride-by-nights, 28, 

Gyrd, son of Earl Sigvaldi, 

Haflidi, the son of Mar, 
married to Thurid, the 
daughter of Thord, son of 
Sturla Thiodrekson and 
Hallbera, the daughter of 
Snorri the Priest, 184. 

Index I. 


Hakon of Hladir, son of Si- 
gurd, Earl of Norway, 55 ; 
makes Vermund the Slender 
his man, and for his service 
gives him two Swedish Bare- 
serks to take home with him 
to Iceland, 55-57. 

Hall, Hallr, son of Gudmund 
of Asbiorn's-ness, saves Kol- 
skegg from the waylayings 
of the sons of Harek, 192 ; 
is entrapped by them when 
on his journey back to Ice- 
land, and slain, 193 ; atone- 
ment craved in vain for him 
at three consecutive Al- 
things, 194-196; avenged 
by Bardi, his brother, in the 
slaughter of Gisli Thorgaut- 
son and the Heath-slayings, 
212,213, 229,230, 234 foil.; 
is atoned by being paired 
against Gisli and Ketil 
Thorgautsons, 249. 

Hall, son of Slaying Stir, 


Hallbera, the daughter of 
Snorri the Priest and Hall- 
frid, the daughter of Einar, 
married to Thord, the son of 
Sturla Thiodrekson, 184, 

Haldor, a skipper, Bardi's 
foster-brother, 200 ; begs 
out of joining Bardi for the 
expedition to the south, 203, 
205 (220); gives Bardi his 
own ship " with yard and 
gear " to go abroad in, when 
he was exiled after the 
Heath-slayings, 251. 

Haldor, son of Olaf Peacock 
ofHerdholt, 184. 

Hallkel of Hallkelstead (son 
of Hrosskel), father to 
Grima, wife of Thorgils Ari- 
sen, and Illugi the Black, 
and the poet Tind, 247. 

Halldor, son of Snorri the 
Priest, kept house at Herd- 
holt in Laxwaterdale, 184, 

Halldora, daughter of Snorri 
the Priest, married to Thor- 
geir of Asgarth's-knolls, 184, 

Halli, a Swedish Bareserk, 
given by Earl Hakon of 
Norway to Vermund the 
Slender, 55-58; is handed 
by Vermund over to Slaying 
Stir, his brother, 58, 59 ; 
wooes Asdis, the daughter of 
Stir, 66-69; is treacherously 
murdered by Stir, after 
having gone through the 
heavy labour, with his com- 
rade, Leikner, to build a road 
through the Bareserk's Lava, 

Hallstein, son of Thorbiorn 
the Thick of Frodis-water, 
27 ; goes with his father to 
ransack the house of Thora- 
rin the Swart of Mewlithe, 
on the suspicion of horse- 
stealing, 33; joins him in 
fighting Thorarin the Swart 
and is wounded, 34-38. 

Hallstein, Hallsteinn, son of 
Thorolf Mostbeard, accom- 
panies Biorn the Easterner 


The Saga Library. 

west over the sea, 6 ; comes 
with Biorn to Iceland, lo ; 
refusing to receive lands 
from his father, he goes 
across Broadfirth and settles 
at Hallstein's-ness on its 
western shore, 1 1 ; married 
Osk, the daughter of Thor- 
stein the Red, and had with 
her the son Thorstein the 
Swart, 1 2 ; another son of his 
was Thorgils the Eagle, 135. 

Hallward, the foreman for 
Thora's household at Holy- 
fell after the death of her 
husband, Thorstein Cod- 
biter, 19. 

Harald Hairfair, comes to 
the rule of Norway by con- 
quest, and from that unpeace 
vikings gatherto the Western 
Isles and make raids on Nor- 
way in summer, 3 ; he sends 
Ketil Flatneb with an armed 
expedition to chastise them : 
finds himself betrayed by 
Ketil, and confiscates his 
lands in return, 4; his bailiffs 
are driven out by Biorn Ke- 
tilson, whom the king has 
outlawed at an eight-folk- 
mote in Thrandheim, and 
sends Hawk High-breeks to 
slay him, who returns after 
taking possession anew of 
his patrimony on behalf of 
Harald, 5 ; outlaws Thorolf 
Mostbeard for harbouring 
Biorn, 6. 

Harek of Thiotta, a great 
chief of Hal ogaland, 257. 

Harek, father of the Harek- 
sons who slew Hall Gud- 
mundson, 192, 194. 

Hareksons, missing Kol- 
skegg, on whom they wanted 
to avenge the slaying of 
Thorstein Gislison, turn on 
Hall, son of Gudmund, who 
had got Kolskegg off, and 
slay him, are afterwards cast 
away and drowned, 192, 


Hawk, Haukr, Snorri's " fol- 
lower," goes with three 
thralls to fetch the timber 
from Crowness, which Snorri 
had had cut there, and is 
slain by Arnkel, 92, 93, 96. 

Hawk High-breeks, Haukr 
Hdbr6k, a bailiff of King 
Harald's, sent to chase Biorn 
Ketilson out of his paternal 
estates, 5. 

Helga, daughter of Kiallak 
the Old, wife to Asgeir, the 
son of Vestar of Ere, 1 2. 

Helga, daughter of Thorlak 
Asgeirson of Ere and Thu- 
rid, the daughter of Audun 
Stote, 2 1 j refused in mar- 
riage toThorleif Kimbi, 108, 

Helgi, father to Ingiald, the 
father of Olaf the White, 

Helgi, a shepherd of Snorri 

the Priest's, smitten by Biorn 
of Drapalithe with a pike- 
staff at the sheepfolding at 
Tongue, 52, 53. 
Helgi, son of Droplaug, one 

Index I. 


of three best skilled at arms 
in Iceland, 21. 

Helgi the Lean, magri, son 
of Eyvind the Eastman, 
married Thorun the Horned, 
daughter of Ketil Flatneb, 4. 

Helgi — elsewhere known as 
H. Bjola— son of Ketil Flat- 
neb, 3, 10. 

Helgi, son of Ottar, the son of 
Biorn the Easterner, father 
to Osvif the Wise, 12. 

Helgi, the Priest of Temple- 
garth (son of Rolf the Stout), 
called on to give out the 
twelve men's finding in a 
suit for witchery against 
Geirrid of Mewlithe, 29, 30. 

Heriolf Holkinrazi, father to 
Thorolf, the son-in-law of 
Thorolf Halt-foot, 14, 

Hermund, son of Illugi the 
Black of Gilsbank, gone to 
the market at Whitewater- 
meads when Bardi makes 
the raid on Burgfirth, 218, 
232, 234. 

Hermund (son of Solmund), 
Bardi's uncle, 202, 249. 

Hesthofdi, see Thord 

HiALTi Skeggison preaches 
Christ's faith in Iceland, 

Horda-Kari, 22. 

HosKULD, a go^i, of Hoskuld- 

stead, 204, 
HosKULD (son of Dala-Koll), 

father to Bard, 154. 
HuN, Hiinn, son of Gudbrand 

and Bardi's sister Gudrun, 

joins Bardi's expedition to 
the south, 211, 220; fights 
jointly with his brother 
Lambkar against Thorbiorn 
Brunison in the first brunt 
of the battle on the Heath, 
237 ; fights Eyolf, son of 
Thorgisl Hewer in the se- 
cond brunt, and is slain, 
238, 239. 

Illugi the Red, better "the 
Strong," enn rammi, son of 
Aslak of Longdale, joins his 
father in separating the 
fighters at Swanfirth, 121, 

Illugi, son of Eid Skeggison, 
joins in the chasing of Bardi, 
231 ; fights in the second 
brunt of the battle on the 
Heath, jointly with his 
brother Eystein,against Stein 
and Steingrim, Bardi's bro- 
thers, and loses his life, 238, 
239 ; is paired for atone- 
ment with one of the sons of 
Gudbrand, 249. 

Illugi the Black of Gilsbank, 
son of Hallkel, claims and 
obtains, in a hard-fought 
suit against Tinforni, the 
jointure and dowry of his 
wife, Ingibiorg, Asbiorn's 
daughter, 30, 31 ; opposes 
Snorri, on his first expedi- 
tion to Burgfirth in revenge 
of the slaying of Stir, 153; 
appears upon the Heath 
with a hundred men, when 
Bardi had already made off 


The Saga Library. 

for the north, 241 ; gives 
chase to Bardi, but over- 
taken by darkness retires 
to the south with the bodies 
of the fallen, 242 ; his family 
alliance to Thorgils Arison, 

Illugi the Red, enn rau^i, 
son of Hrolf, his daughter 
Thurid second wife of 
Snorri the Priest, 189, 257. 

Ingiald, Ingjaldr, son of 
Helgi, father to Olaf the 
White, 4. 

Ingibiorg, daughter of As- 
biom (the Wealthy), wife to 
Illugi the Black, 30. 

Ingolf Ernson, the first set- 
tler in Iceland, 6. 

Jon, the son of Arni, married 
to Ranveig, the daughter of 
Sigurd and of Unn, daugh- 
ter of Snorri the Priest, 184. 

JoRUN Manwitbrent, Jdrunn 
Mannvitsbrekka, daughter 
of Ketil Flatneb, 3. 

JoRUND, baseborn son of 
Snorri the Priest, 189. 

JoRUND, son of Thorfin, the 
sonofGudlaug the Wealthy, 
married to Alof, the daughter 
of Snorri the Priest, 184. 

Kalf, of Sunhome, married to 
Gudrun, the daughter of 
Snorri the Priest, 184. 

Kar, son of Thorod Thor- 
brandson of Swanfirth, took 
the estate after his father, 

and from him it got the 
name of Karstead, 179. 

Karlsefni, see Thorfin 

Katla, a witchwife, dwelt at 
Holt, west of Mewlithe, 
jealous of Geirrid at Mew- 
lithe because of the visits to 
her by Gunnlaug Thorbiorn- 
son of Frodis-water, 27, 28 ; 
sets ride-by-night on Gunn- 
laug to torment him, 28, 29 ; 
does on Odd, her son, a 
magic kirtle of her own 
make, when he joins Thor- 
biorn the Thick to ransack 
at Mewlithe, 33 ; hood- 
winks by means of wizardry 
Amkel the Priest and Thor- 
arin the Swart, when they 
search for Odd, her son, 44- 
47 ; is stoned to death by 
them, 48. 

Keru-Bersi, son of Halldor, 
the son of Olaf of Herdholt, 
married to Thora, the 
daughter of Snorrithe Priest, 

Ketil the Champion, son of 
Thorbiorn the Thick of 
Frodis-water, 27; abroad 
when his father sets going 
the Mewlithe feud, t^i. 

Ketil Flatneb, Ketill Flat- 
nefr, son of Biorn Rough- 
foot, a famous " hersir " in 
Norway, married to Yng- 
vild, daughter of Ketil 
Wether, 3 ; sent by Harald 
Hairfair to chastise vikings 
west over the sea, he wins 

Index I. 


the South-isles and makes 
himself chief thereover : his 
lands in Norway confiscated 
by Harald : his marriage 
alliances in the west, 4 ; 
died, in the Southern isles, 
before Biorn his son came 
west (about a.d. 884), 10. 

Ketil Brusi, son of Thor- 
gaut, mows with his brothers 
on Goldmead, when Bardi 
attacks them, takes to flight 
and saves himself over the 
home-fence, and brings on 
his back Gisli, his brother, 
dead to his father, 228, 229 ; 
sends out a call to the coun- 
try-side for the chasing of 
Bardi, 230, 231 ; fights in 
the first brunt of the battle on 
the Heath with Bardi, and 
is slain by him, 235-237 ; is 
valued at half a were-gild 
against Hall Gudmundson, 

Ketil Wether, Ve^r, a " her- 
sir " of Raumarik, father to 
Yngvild the wife of Ketil 
Flatneb, 3. 

KiALLAK, son of Biorn the 
Strong, commonly called 
Barne-Kiallak, of Kiallak- 
stead in Midfellstrand, 14; 
fights, together with his 
kinsmen, against the Thors- 
nessings for their rigid en- 
forcement of the sanctity of 
the soil of the Thing, 15, 

KiAiXAK, an earl in lamta- 
land in Sweden, 3 ; fosterer 


of Biorn the Easterner, 4, 

KiALLAK the Old, Kjallakr 

enn gamH, son of Biorn the 

Easterner, married to As- 

trid, daughter of Rolf th€ 

Hersir, and sister to Steinolf 

the Low, II, 12. 

KiALLAK of Kiallak's-river, 
father of Uspak, 157. 

KiALLEKiNGS, the descendants 
of Biorn the Easterner and 
of Biorn the Strong, 1 2 ; 
their pride and strife with 
the Thorsnessings, 14-18, 
30, 31, 62, 65. 

KiANNOK, see Alof, by-named 

KiARFAL, King of the Irish, 
the maternal grandfather of 
Helgi the Lean, 4. 

KiARTAN, son of Thurid of 
Frodis-water, born, 75 ; as 
a small boy he betrays the 
instincts of a warrior at the 
meeting of Howbrent, 105; 
is owned by Biorn to be his 
son, 105, 106 ; dislikes 
Thorgunna's fondness for 
him, 138 ; is most dreaded 
of all the folk at Frodis- 
water by the haunting things 
there, 147 ; seeks Snorri's 
counsel for putting an end 
to the hauntings at Frodis- 
water, and by the aid of 
Snorri's priest prevails over 
them, 150-152; fights ex- 
ceeding bravely at Thors- 
ness Thing with Thorstein 
of Hafsfirthisle, 155 ; and 


The Saga Library. 

is chaffed in consequence 
by his uncle Snorri with the 
title of Broadwicking, which 
he takes amiss, 156 ; re- 
ceives by Gudleif, son of 
Gudlaug, a message and gift 
from Biorn the Broad- 
wickers' Champion, 181- 

Klepp, son of Snorri the 
Priest, 185, 189. 

Kleppiarn the Old opposes 
with other chiefs of Burg- 
firth Snorri's first expedition 
to Burgfirth in revenge for 
Stir, 153. 

in waiting, at Asbiorn's-ness, 
a follower of Bardi, 202, 
212 ; acts as groom and 
horsekeeper in Bardi's ex- 
pedition, 220, 233, 249. 

KoLLi, the son of Thormod, 
the son of Thorlak, brother 
to Steinthor of Ere, was the 
second husband of Sigrid, 
the daughter of Snorri the 
Priest, 183. 

KoLSKEGG, takes a foremost 
part in the slaying of Thor- 
stein Gislison of By, goes 
to Norway, is watched by 
Thorstein's kinsmen, the 
sons of Harek, and is got 
out of their way west to 
England by Hall, the son 
of Gudmund, 192. 

Lambkar, son of Gudbrand 
and Bardi's sister Gudrun, 
joins Bardi's expedition for 

the south, 211, 220; fights 
in fellowship with his 
brother Hun against Thor- 
biorn Brunison, in the first 
brunt of the battle on the 
Heath, 237 ; fights Eyolf, 
son of Thorgisl Hewer, in 
the second brunt, and is 
slain, 238, 239. 

Leikner, a Swedish Bareserk, 
brother to Halli, given by 
Earl Hakon of Norway to 
Vermund the Slender, 55- 
58 ; is foully murdered by 
Slaying Stir (cf. Halli), 69, 

LiOT, commonly called Mana- 
Liot, son of Mani of Sheep- 
fell, the son of Snorri the 
Priest, 185. 

LoDVER, HloSver, son of 
Thorfin, Earl of Orkney, 71. 

Loft o' th' Eres, otherwise 
called the Old, brother-in- 
law to Ingolf Ernson, accor- 
ding to the Landnama, 179. 

Lyng-Torfi, "the greatest 
scoundrel and rufifler," is, 
at Thorarin's request, en- 
gaged by Bardi for the for- 
mer's deep plan of revenge 
on the Gislungs, 194-196; 
is bought over by Thorarin 
to obtain two good weapons 
from the Gislungs, in which 
Lyng-Torfi succeeds, 197, 
198; cf. 215,229,235, 236, 
and notes to pp. 197, 198. 

jNIana-Liot, see Liot. 
Mani, the son of Snorri the 

Index I. 


Priest, dwelt at Sheepfell, 
185, 189. 
Mar, the son of Hallward and 
Thora, the widow of Thor- 
stein Codbiter, of Holyfell, 
19; betakes himself with all 
his to Holyfell, and becomes 
the foreman of Snorri's 
household, 26 ; goes with 
certain of Snorri's house- 
hold to the folding business 
at Tongue, and wounds 
Biorn of Drapalithe, 52, 53 ; 
is wounded by the assassin 
Swart, sent by Vigfus of 
Drapalithe to take the life 
of Snorri the Priest, 61 ; 
joins Snorri in the slaying 
of Vigfus, 61, 62 , is out- 
lawed for it by Arnkel the 
Priest for three years, 65 ; 
sorely wounded in the fight 
ofSwanfirth, 120; hiswound 
judged on at Thorsness 
Thing, 131 ; entrusted by 
Snorri, when he sets out to 
attack Biorn the Broad- 
wickers' Champion, to deal 
him a wound that may do 
for him, 132; "but Mar 
let his hand fall," &c., 133. 

Nail, Nagli (Neal), a Scotch 
thrall, 32 ; fights with Thor- 
arin the Swart against Thor- 
biorn the Thick, but runs 
away as "one witless with 
fear," and is just caught by 
Thorarin in time to be saved 
from destruction, 36, 37. 

Is'iAL, Njall, in Nipsdale, 

harbours Bardi and his band 
for a night at Thorarin's 
request, going to the south, 
218, 221, 222 ; is visited by 
Bardi retreating to the north 
from the Heath, 243. 

Odd, called Gefn's-Odd, see 

Odd, son of Katla the witch- 
wife of Holt, 27; accom- 
panies GunnlaugThorbiorn- 
son on his visits to Mewlithe, 
28, 29; slanders Geirrid of 
Mewlithe for having be- 
witclied Gunnlaug, 29 ; is 
sent by Thorbiorn of Fro- 
dis-water to Cunning-Gils 
for news about lost horses, 
32 ; mis-states the words of 
Gils so as to bring about 
the Mewlithe feud, in which 
he joins, dight in a magic 
kirtle of his mother's make, 
on which no weapons would 
bite, 33-38 ; in the fight he 
cut off the hand of Aud, 
Thorarin's wife, and after- 
wards said the latter him- 
self had done it, 35, 44 ; 
is searched for at Holt by 
Arnkel and Thorarin, and 
hanged, 45-48. 

Odd the Skald, otherwise 
known as Odd the Broad- 
firther(Landn. pp. 197,198), 
author of Illugi's Lay, 30, 3 1. 

Odd the Strong, better Rank, 
rakki [son of Thorvid, the 
son of Freyvid, the son 
of Alf of Vors], father to 


The Saga Library. 

Thormod the Priest, the 
son-in-law to Kiallak the 
Old, 12. 

Odd of Midfirth, son of Ufeig 
(cf. vol. i.), 171. 

Ofeig, ofeigr, a thrall of Arn- 
kel's, 97 ; ran away, when 
Snorri and his band set on 
Arnkel, and fell into Ofeig's- 
force, 98. 

Olaf, 61afr, of Asbiorn's-ness, 
first cousin of Bardi, joins his 
expedition to Burgfirth, 202, 
214, 221, 228. 

Olaf, son of Eyvind, of Dran- 
gar, gathers the folk of the 
Strands to fall on Uspak, 
and having besieged him 
awhile, retires on his pro- 
mising to fare peacefully, 

Olaf Feilan, Thorstein Cod- 
biter's father-in-law, 14. 

Olaf the Holy, King of Nor- 
way, 1015-1030, 179, 185, 
190; receives Bardi in a 
friendly way when, an out- 
law from Iceland, he goes 
to Norway, 255. 

Olaf Peacock, Pa, of Herd- 
holt, 184. 

Olaf the White, hvfti, son 
of Ingiald, " the greatest 
war-king west-over-the-sea " 
(King of Dublin), married 
to Auth the Deep-minded, 4. 

Orlig, orlygr, a freedman of 
Thorbrand of Swanfirth, 
dwelt at Orligstead, which 
he bought from Thorolf 
Halt-foot, 13; his death. 82. 

Ornolf the Fishdriver, Or- 
nolfr fiskreki, the father of 
Thorolf Mostbeard, 5. 

OsK, daughter of Thorstein 
the Red, the son of Auth 
the Deep-minded, wife to 
Hallstein, the son of Thorolf 
Mostbeard, 12. 

Osvif the Wise, osvifr hinn 
spaki, son of Helgi, the son 
of Ottar, 12. 

Ottar, Ottarr, son of Biom 
the Easterner, married to 
Gro, daughter of Geirleif of 
Bardstrand, 12, 52. 

Palnatoki, 75. 

Rafarta, daughter of Kiarfal, 
an Irish king, married to 
Eyvind the Eastman, whose 
son was Helgi the Lean, 4. 

Ragnar Hairy-breeks, R. 
Lo^brok, father to Sigurd 
Worm - in - eye and that 
ilk, 4. 

Ragnhild, daughter of 
Thord, wife of ThorodThor- 
brandson of Swanfirth, 135. 

Ranveig, daughter of Sigurd, 
the son of Thorir Hound 
and Unn, the daughter of 
Snorri the Priest, 184. 

Raven the Viking, an evil- 
doer and outlaw infesting 
the Strands, joins the com- 
pany of Uspak when he sets 
up in Wrackfirth, 164; he 
guards one flank of Uspak's 
strong work at Ere, and 
is mortally wounded by 

Index I. 


Thrand the Strider, 168- 

Ref, Refr, otherwise known as 
Ref, son of Guest, the son of 
Biorn, the son of Helgi, the 
Priest of Templegarth, 29, 

Rolf, Hr61fr, see Thorolf 

Rolf the Hersir (of Agdir in 
Norway), father to Astrid, 
the wife of Kiallak the Old, 

Sam, Samr, the son of Bork 
the Thick, goes under 
Snorri's command to fight 
Uspak of Ere in his work, 

Sel-Thorir (al. Sealthorir) of 
Redmel, son of Grim, 20, 


SiDEFOLK, the men of White- 
waterside, a name given to 
the northern slope of the 
upper Whitewater valley in 
Burgfirth, 219. 

SiGHVAT, son of Sturla Thord- 
son of Hwamm, 185. 

SiGMUND, son of Thorbein, 13. 

SiGRiD, daughter of Snorri the 
Priest, married to Brand the 
Bounteous, the son of Ver- 
mund the Slender, 1 83 ; 
her second husband was 
KoUi, the son of Thormod, 
a brother's son of Sieinthor 
of Ere, 183, 189. 

Sigurd, son of Lodver, Earl 
of the Orkneys, harries about 

the South-isles (Hebrides), 
71. Ob. 1014. 

Sigurd, son of Thorir Hound 
of Birchisle, the second hus- 
band of Unn, the daughter 
of Snorri the Priest, 184. 

Sigurd Worm-in-eye, son of 
Ragnar Hairy-breeks, father 
to Thora, the mother of In- 
giald, the father of Olaf the 
White, 4. 

SiGVALDi, an earl, 179. 

Skald-Ref, Skald-Refr, son of 
Guest, 29, see Ref 

Slaying Stir, see Stir. 

Snorri, the son of Snorri the 
Priest, dwelt at Tongue 
after his father, 185, 189. 

Snorri, son of Sturla, the son 
of Thord, 185. 

Snorri, son of Thorbrand of 
Swanfirth, 20; fights in the 
battle of Swanfirth and is 
wounded, but healed of his 
hurts by Snorri the Priest, 
129; goes to Greenland 
with his brother Thorleif, 
and afterwards to Vineland 
the Good with Thorfin 
Karlsefni, fell in battle there 
with the Skrselings, 135. 

Snorri the Priest, Go^i, son 
of Thorgrim the Priest and 
of Thordis Sur's (Thorbiorn 
Sur's) daughter, bom 963, 
first named Thorgrim, then, 
by reason of his youthful 
recklessness, Snerrir, and 
finally Snorri ; fostered by 
Thorbrand of Swanfirth and 
therefore was foster-brother 


The Saga Library. 

of his five sons, 20 ; goes 
abroad with Thorleif Kimbi 
and Thorod his brother, a.d. 
977, 21, 190; stays the 
winter of 977-8 with Erling 
Skialgson of Sole in Norway, 
22 ; returns to Iceland, 978, 
and comes home in the guise 
of an impoverished spend- 
thrift, and Bork the Thick, 
his uncle and stepfather, was 
loth to harbour him for the 
winter, 22, igo; his beha- 
viour on the visit to Holy- 
fell by Eyolf the Gray, the 
slayer of his mother's 
brother, 23 ; outwits Bork, 
as to which of them shall 
own Holyfell, and drives 
him away thence, 24, 25 ; 
his person, household ways, 
chiefship, 26; sets up house 
at Holyfell, 26, 27 ; backs 
the suit of Thorbiorn the 
Thick against Geirrid of 
Mewlithe for witchery, 29, 
30; stays the fight at Thors- 
ness Thing between Thor- 
grim Kiallakson and lUugi 
the Black, 31 ; takes up the 
blood- suit after Thorbiorn 
the Thick, 50 ; summons 
Thorarin the Swart for the 
slaying of Thorbiorn the 
Thick and his folk to 
Thorsness Thing, and makes 
him and his fellow-fighters 
all guilty outlaws, 50-52 ; 
wins a suit for assault set 
afoot by Vigfus of Drapa- 
lithe against his uncle Mar 

Hallwardson, 52, 53; bar- 
gains with Stir not to join 
Thorgest the Old against 
Eric the Red, on condition 
of having Stir's aid secure in 
future troubles, 54; escapes 
the assassin Swart, set upon 
him by Vigfus of Drapa- 
lithe, and slays Vigfus in 
return, 60-62 ; is forced by 
Amkel to pay heavily for it 
at the Thorsness Thing, 
65 ; counsels Stir how to 
get rid of his Bareserks, 
67 ; goes, on hearing of the 
fate of the Bareserks, to 
Stir, and wooes Asdis his 
daughter, and marries her 
shortly afterwards, 70; takes 
in Thorod Scat-catcher and 
gives him in marriage his 
half-sister Thurid, 72 ; takes 
up for his brother-in-law, 
Thorod the Scat-catcher, 
the blood-suit against Biorn 
the Broadwick Champion 
for the slaying of Ern and 
Val, the sons of Thorir 
Wooden-leg, 74, 75 ; takes 
from Thorolf Halt-foot the 
woodland of Crowness in 
bribe for suing Arnkel for 
the hanging of Thorolf s 
thralls, 81 ; in this suit, 
which is eventually put in 
arbitration, Snorri only gets 
thrall's-gild for the thralls, 
much to Thorolf's dis- 
gust, 81, 82; refuses the 
Thorbrandsons his aid in 
claiming at Arnkel's hands 

Index I. 


the inheritance of Oilig of 
Orligstead, 83 ; refusesThor- 
olf Hah-foot to restore to 
him the wood of Crowness, 
86, 87 ; is charged by com- 
mon rumour with having 
sent Thorleif the Eastfirther 
for Arnkel's head, 94, 95 ; 
at an autumn feast at Holy- 
fell he is taunted for 
cowardice by Thorleif Kim- 
bi, and makes up his mind, 
in alliance with the Thor- 
brandsons, to take Arnkel's 
life, 95-97 ; sets out with 
Thorbrand's sons, and slays 
Arnkel at Orligstead, 97- 
100; Biorn the Broad- 
wickers' Champion's esti- 
mate of him, 106 ; acts with 
Steinthor of Ere as umpire 
in the turf-play suit at 
Thorsness Thing, 109 ; 
urges in vain the sons of 
Thorbrand to desist from an 
armed attack on Arnbiorn 
of Bank, but thwarts it at the 
proper moment, 110-112; 
plans that Egil the Strong 
should assassinate some 
Broadwicker at the games 
at Playhall-meads, 113 ; 
feigns inactivity in order to 
make Steinthor of Ere be- 
lieve that he will allow him 
to bring the thrall-gild for 
Egil to Swanfirth peacefully, 
116; but he gathers a band 
quietly and goes by sea to 
Swanfirth, where he arrives 
before Steinthor, 118; en- 

deavours to prevent the 
Thorbrandsons fighting, 1 18; 
is drawn against his will into 
the battle of Swanfirth, and 
readily comes to terms of 
truce on seeing the Broad- 
wick folk bring up their 
band to Steinthor's aid, 119- 
123; harbours the sons of 
Thorbrand after the battle 
of Swanfirth and heals them, 
127-129; makes a lasting 
peace with Steinthor at 
Thorsness Thing, 131 ; goes 
to attack Biorn the Broad- 
wickers' Champion and fails 
ignominiously, 132-134; 
takes the lead in introduc- 
ing Christianity in the west 
country and builds a church 
at Kolyfell, 135 ; gives 
counsel how to drive out the 
ghosts at Frodis-water, 150, 
151 : exchanges the seat of 
Holyfell for Tongue in Sae- 
lingsdale, or Saelingsdale- 
Tongue, and goes to fetch 
the corpse of Stir to lorfi in 
Flysa-wharf, 153; the same 
year he went south to Burg- 
firth to avenge his father-in- 
law, with four hundred men, 
but had to fall back for an 
overwhelming force of Burg- 
firthers on the south of White- 
water, 153, 154; in this suit 
too he failed at the Althing, 
154; rides again south to 
Burgfirth with fourteen men, 
and takes the life of Thor- 
stein Gislison of By and his 


The Saga Library. 

son, and cunningly eludes his 
pursuers, 154, 192, 218, 
219 ; his dealings at 
Thorsness Tiling with Thor- 
stein of Hafsfirthisle, 154- 
156 ; the blood-suit for 
Thorstein Gislison is settled 
at the Althing, and all who 
were with Snorri in that 
affair were exiled, 156, 157 ; 
he owns sea - drift shores 
north in Bitter, and is robbed 
by Uspak of a quantity of 
whale-flesh, 157-160; has 
Uspak and his men all 
judged guilty for the rob- 
bing of Alf the Little and 
for other misdeeds, 163; 
executes the doom of forfeit 
at Ere and divides the seized 
goods among the aggrieved 
parties, 164, 165 ; on Us- 
pak's robbing Alf a second 
time Snorri takes him and all 
his household to himself, 
166 ; sends for his former 
man, Thrand the Strider, to 
come as if on an errand of 
"trials of manhood," 167 ; 
on Thrand's arrival he sends 
to Sturla Thiodrekson a 
message to meet him next 
day at Tongue in Bitter, and 
gathers folk for a journey 
thither himself, 168 ; sets 
out and overcomes, with 
Sturla's aid, Uspak, 168- 
170; coming with Thorgils 
Arison from his wedding, he 
meets Bardi and protects him 
by making Thorgils give out 

the speech of truce, 244-246; 
goes to Thorarin of Lech- 
mote. 247 ; acts on Bardi's 
behalf in the settlement of 
the latter's affairs at the Al- 
thing, 248-250; marries his 
daughter Aud or Unn to 
Bardi, 256 ; his life summed 
up, 183, 190; his children 
enumerated, 183-185, 190; 
his death, 185, 190; his 
bones taken out of earth, 185. 

Sons (The) of Eid, see Illugi 
and Eystein. 

Sons (The) of Gudbrand, see 
Hun and Lambkar. 

Stein, Steinn, see Thorstein 

Stein, son of Gudmund of 
Asbiorn's-ness, joins his 
brother Bardi in the expe- 
dition to Burgfirth, 212, 221, 
228 ; fights, jointly with his 
brother, in the second brunt 
of the battle on the Heath 
against the sons of Eid, one 
of whom he slays, 239 ; is 
outlawed for three years, 
250 (cf. Bardi) ; returns to 
Iceland and gets, through 
Eyolf of Burg, his share in 
the family estates, 256. 

Steingrim, son of Gudmund 
of Asbiorn's-ness, joins his 
brother in his expedition 
to Burgfirth, 212, 221, 228; 
fights in fellowship with his 
brother Stein in the second 
brunt of the battle on the 
Heath, against the sons of 
Eid, one of whom he slays, 

Index I. 


239; is outlawed for three 
years, 250 (cf. Bardi) ; re- 
turns to Iceland and ob- 
tains, through Eyolf of 
Burg, his share in the es- 
tates belonging to the family, 

Steinolf the Low, Steinolfr 
lagi, son of Rolf the Hersir 
of Agdir, and brother to 
Astrid, the wife of Kiallak 
the Old, 12. 

Steinthor of Ere, son of 
Thorlak Asgeirson and Thu- 
rid, daughter of Audun 
Stote, 2\; takes in the 
Norwegian skipper Biorn, 
32 ; refuses Thorgerd to 
take up the blood-suit after 
her husband, Vigfus of Dra- 
palith, against Snorri the 
Priest, 63 ; refuses to give 
his sister Helga in marriage 
toThorleif Kimbi, 108, 109; 
acts as umpire with Snorri 
in the turf-play suit at Thors- 
ness Thing, 109; leads the 
Broadwickers bringing the 
thrall-gild for Egil to Thor- 
brand of Swanfirth, 116- 
119; has, in consequence, 
to fight the battle of Swan- 
firth, 1 1 9-1 23; and, little 
before Yule the same year, 
the battle of Swordfirth, 123- 
127; accepts the peace 
award by Vermund the 
Slender and the wisest men, 
and holds peace well ever 
after, 130, 131 ; goes with 
Snorri to Burgfirth on his 

first as well as his second 
expedition in revenge for 
the slaying of Stir, 153, 

Stir (real name Arngrim), 

commonly known as Slay- 
ing Stir, Viga-Styr, so called 
because he was " very mas- 
terful and exceeding in 
wrongfulness," son of Tho- 
rarin the Priest, the son of 
Kiallak the Old, his person 
described, 21 ; kills two men 
fighting at Thorsness Thing 
against Illugi the Black, 31 ; 
has his house at Lava, 31 ; 
backs Eric the Red against 
Thorgest the Old, from 
whom he draws supporters, 
Snorri the Priest included, 
54 ; relieves his brother 
Vermund the Slender of his 
Swedish Bareserks, 58, 59; 
slew with their aid Thor- 
biorn Jaw, 59, 60; refuses 
to take up the blood-suit for 
his kinsman, Vigfus of Dra- 
palith, against Snorri, 62, 
63 ; remonstrates with the 
Bareserk Halli for talking 
to Asdis his daughter, 66, 
67 ; takes counsel with 
Snorri, how to rid himself 
of the Bareserks, 67, 68; 
his treachery to and murder 
of them, 67-70 ; betroths 
Asdis to Snorri the Priest, 
70, 7 1 ; acts, with his brother 
Vermund, as umpire in the 
suit brought by Snorri against 
Arnkel for the latter's kiUing 


The Saga Library 

of his father's thralls, 8i, 82 ; 
fights in the battle of Swan- 
firth, first on Steinthor's side 
and then against him on 
Snorri's, in both cases killing 
a man, 121, 131 ; becomes 
a Christian, and builds a 
church at his home " Under- 
the-Lava," 135; slain at 
lorfi by a weakling of a boy, 
153, 189-191 ; avenged by 
Snorri the Priest, 154, 192. 

Sturla, son of Thiodrek, 
called Slaying- Sturla (bro- 
ther of Thorbiom Thiod- 
rekson, vol. i.), dwelt at 
Stead-Knoll in Saurby, 
owned drift-shores north 
in Bitter, 158 ; is robbed by 
Uspak of Ere of a quantity 
of whale-flesh, 158-160; 
proposes to Snorri a joint 
attack on Uspak of Ere, 
166; sets out and joins 
Snorri at Tongue in Bitter, 
and with him overcomes 
Uspak, 168-170. 

Sturla, son of Thord, com- 
monly called Hwamm-Stur- 
la, married to Gudny, the 
daughter of Bodvar, 185. 

Styrbiorn the Strong, Styr- 
bjorn sterki, wins Joms- 
burg, invades Sweden, and 
falls on Fyrisfield, 75. 

SuMMERLiD the Yeller, Sumar- 
li^igjallandi, dwelt at Swine- 
water, 20 T. 

SuR, see Thorbiom Sur. 

SvEiN, son of Harek of Thiotta, 


Swart the Strong, Svartr liinn 
sterki, a thrall belonging to 
Vigfus of Drapalithe, sent 
to kill Snorri the Priest, in 
which he fails, 60, 61. 

Tanni the Handstrong, bro- 
ther to Thorfinna the Skald- 
woman, joins the chase for 
Bardi, 232; fights in the 
third brunt of the battle on 
the Heath against Bardi, 
before whom he falls, 240 ; 
no were-gild paid in atone- 
ment for him, 249. 

Templegarth - Ref, Hof- 
garSa-Refr, see Ref 

Thora, fora, daughter of Olaf 
Feilan, wife to Thorstein 
Codbiter, 14; motherof Bork 
the Thick, 18; and ofThor- 
grim the Priest, 19; kept 
house at Holyfell after the 
death of her husband, and 
bore Mar, the son of Hall- 
ward, 19. 

Thora, daughter of Sigurd 
Worm-in-eye, mother of 
Ingiald, the father of Olaf 
the White, 4. 

Thora, the daughter of Snorri 
the Priest and Hallfrid, 
daughter of Einar, married 
first to Keru-Bersi, after- 
ward to Thorgrim the Bur- 
ner, 184, 189. 

Thorarin of the Cliffs, a 
goodman, wounded by Hal- 
dor the Skipper, 203, 296, 
Thorarin of Thwartwater- 

Index I. 


lithe, father-in-law to Ami 
Thorgautson of Highfell, 
joins in the chase of Bardi, 
231 ; is sorely wounded in 
the battle of the Heath, 242. 

Thorarin the Swart, svarti, 
of Mewlithe, son of Thor- 
olf Heriolfson and Geirrid, 
daughter of Thorolf Halt- 
foot, 14 ; married to Aud, 
his personal appearance and 
character, 2 7 ; harbours Alf- 
geir, a South-island skipper, 
together with his thrall, Nail, 
32 ; has a fighting horse on 
the fell-pasture, 3 2 ; is ac- 
cused by Thorbiorn the 
Thick of Frodis- water for 
having stolen his missing 
horses, whence the Mew- 
lithe feud, 33-44 ; he seeks 
shelter with Vermund the 
Slender, his brother-in-law, 
and Amkel the Priest, his 
uncle, and tells them the 
news of the fight in the 
" Mewlithe Songs," 39-44 ; 
takes counsel with Amkel 
how to meet the blood-suit, 
49 ; is summoned by Snorri 
the Priest to Thorsness 
Thing, 50, 51; goes with 
Vermund to Daymeal-ness 
to get him a ship, and goes 
abroad, 51, 52; comes to 
Thrandheim, and straight- 
way goes " west-over-the- 
sea with Alfgeir, and is out 
of the story," 55. 

Thorarin the Wise, hinn 
spaki, son of Thorvald, fos- 

terer of Bardi, a Priest, 
dwelt at Lechmote : advises 
Bardi to seek, in a meek 
and gentle manner, atone- 
ment for his brother Hall at 
three consecutive Althings, 
194, 195 ; causes two pet 
horses of Thord of Broad- 
ford to be taken away from 
him while attending the 
session of the third Althing 
at which Bardi craved the 
atonement, in order to have 
a pretext for sending spies 
to Burgfirth to find out what 
Bardi's foes were after, 196, 
208 ; gets Lyng-Torfi to 
trick Thorgaut and Thor- 
biorn of Walls out of 
weapons famed for victory, 
197-199, 215, 216 (cf. 235) ; 
advises Bardi, how to gather 
together a band of revenge 
for the south, and whom to 
select, 199-205 (cf 253) ; 
sends Bardi to Thord of 
Broadford with his horses, 
208; meets(by appointment, 
211) Bardi and his band 
near to Burg and handsThor- 
gaut's good sword to him, 
215 ; lays down the plan 
for Bardi's tactics, 217-221; 
advises Bardi not to make 
haste in fetching the dead 
from the battlefield on the 
Heath, 243. 
Thorbein, torbeinir, of Thor- 
beinstead, married to Gunn- 
frid, daughter of Thorolf 
Halt-foot, 13. 


The Saga Library. 

T UORBERG, Jjorbergr, son of 
Thorarin the Wise, Bardi's 
foster-father, joins Bardi's 
expedition to Burgfirth, 211; 
is provided by his father with 
the good weapon Lyng-Torfi 
tricked out of Thorbiorn 
Brunisonof Walls, 215, 234, 
235 ; taunts Ketil Brusi with 
having his (Ketil's) own 
weapon to fight him with, 235; 
fights with Thorgaut in the 
first brunt of the battle on 
the Heath, 236; is the first 
to urge retreat after the third 
brunt of the Heath-fight, 

THORBiORG,]3orbjorg, daughter 
of Thorstein Windy-Nose, 
wife to Slaying Stir, 32. 

Thorbiorn, jjorbjorn, short 
Biorn, father to Gudrun, the 
wife of Bardi, his miserliness 
to Bardi, 243, 244. 

Thorbiorn, son of Bruni, 
dwelt at Walls [but accor- 
ding to Landnama, ii., 3, p. 
70, at Stones, Steinum], 
197 ; refuses Lyng-Torfi his 
good weapon, 198 (but see 
note and cf. pp. 215, 235, 
236) ; his visions on the 
morning of the day that 
Gisli was slain, as he pre- 
pares to go to the stithy of 
Thorgaut at Thorgautstead, 
223-226; urges the calling 
out of the chase for Bardi, 
230, 231 ; fights in the first 
brunt of the battle on the 
Heath and is slain by Bardi, 

235-237 ; is atoned by being 
paired against Thorod, son 
of Hermund, 249. 

Thorbiorn Jaw, Kjalki, slain 
by Slaying Stir, 59, 60. 

Thorbiorn Sur, Siirr, father of 
Thordis, the wife of Thor- 
grim the Priest, and of Gisli 
and Thorkel, 20. 

Thorbiorn the Thick, digri, 
of Frodis-water, son of Worm 
the Slender, was married 
first to Thurid, the daughter 
of Asbrand of Combe, after- 
wards to Thurid, daughter 
of Bork the Thick, half-sis- 
ter of Snorri the Priest, 26, 
27 ; summons Geirrid of 
Mewlithe for having tor- 
mented his son Gunnlaug 
as a ride-by-night, 29, 30 ; 
his stud-horses on the fell- 
pastures are lost one autumn, 
32 ; sends Odd, Katla's son, 
to Cunning-Gils to learn 
what has become of them, 
32 ; misled by Odd's " slip- 
pery " account of Gils' mes- 
sage, he suspects Thorarin 
the Swart of Mewlithe, 
though innocent, of horse- 
steaUng, and goes to ransack 
the house of Mewlithe (for 
horseflesh), 33, 34 (cf. 52); 
fights with Thorarin the 
Swart at Mewlithe, and is 
slain by him at Combe- 
Garth, and laid in cairn by 
his wife, 35-38 ; the blood- 
suit after him taken up by 
Snorri the Priest, 50-52; 

Index I. 


shortly afterwards his widow 
married Thorod Scat- 
catcher, 72. 
Thorbiorn, son of Vifil (who 
was a freedman of Aud the 
Deep-minded, and dwelt at 
Vifilsdale), aids Eric the 
Red in the blood-suit 
brought against him by 
Thorgest the Old, 54. 
Thorbrand, son of Snorri 
Thorbrandson, fell in Vine- 
land, 135. 
Thorbrand, j^orbrandr, son 
of Thorfin of Swanfirth, 1 1 ; 
his freedmen Ulfar and Or- 
lig buy for themselves lands 
from Thorolf Halt-foot, 13; 
fights with Thorstein Cod- 
biter against the Kiallekings 
for the sanctity of the soil of 
Thorsness Thing, 15, 16 ; 
fosters Snorri the Priest, 20; 
had for wife Thurid, daugh- 
ter of Thorfin Sel-Thorison, 
20 ; calls on his sons to 
help Arnkel in the second 
burial of Thorolf Halt-foot, 
91 ; interprets two visions, 
reported by his men, as fore- 
boding troubles to him and 
his sons, 112, 113; busies 
himself with other peace- 
makers in separating the 
fighters in the battle of 
Swanfirth, 123. 
Thorbrandsons, the five sons 
of Thorbrand Thorfinson of 
Swanfirth : Thorleif Kimbi, 
Snorri, Thorod, Thorfin, 
Thormod, 20 ; give aid to 

Eric the Red, when prose- 
cuted by Thorgest the Old 
for the slaughter of his sons, 
54 ; claim in vain at Arn- 
kel's hands the inheritance 
of Orlig of Orligstead, and 
vainly pray Snorri for aid in 
the matter, 82, 83; at Thor- 
olf Halt-foot's urging they 
attempt to seize on Ulfars- 
fell after the murder of Ulfar, 
but, finding Arnkel already 
in possession, desist, 85 ; 
are again refused aid in the 
matter by Snorri, 85, 86 ; 
lend Arnkel reluctant aid 
to bury Halt-foot a second 
time, 90, 91 ; at an autumn- 
feast at Holyfell they fall to 
pairing of men at Snorrls' 
expense, but enter an ai- 
liance with him in the enp 
to take Arnkel's life, 95-97; 
their violence so feared that 
no one dared tenant Ulfars- 
felland Orligstead, 97; they 
band together with Snorri, 
and slay Arnkel at Ulfars- 
fell in the night, 97-100; 
they play at turf-play about 
their booth at Thorsness 
Thing, 109; they go on an 
armed onset against Am- 
biom of Bank, which Snorri 
with his folk thwarts in time, 
no, in; they bribe their 
father's thrall, Egil the 
Strong, to go and assassinate 
one or other of the Broad- 
wick men, 113; they pre- 
cipitate the fight of Swan- 


The Saga Library. 

firth and bear themselves 
valiantly, 119-123; they 
bring about the battle of 
Swordfirth with the Ere- 
dwellers, in which they come 
to grief, 125-129. 

Thord, ])6r^r, of Broad- 
ford, loses at the Althing 
two peculiarly coloured 
horses, greatly valued by 
him, 196; has these horses 
restored to him through 
Bardi by Thorarin of Lech- 
mote, 208, 209. 

Thord Fox, Melrakki, a fos- 
terling of Gudmund of As- 
biorn's-ness, one of Bardi's 
following, 202, 221, 228; 
heavy work laid on him by 
Bardi, and stoutly carried 
out, 205-207. 

Thord Hesthofdi, son of 
Snorri, of Stead in Skaga- 
firth, harbours Kollgris after 
the Heath - battle, 249, 

Thord the Yeller, Gellir, son 
of Olaf Feilan and brother- 
in-law to Thorstein Cod- 
biter, 14; settles peace be- 
tween Thorstein and the 
Kiallekings after the fight at 
Thorsness Thing, 16-18 ; 
setting up the Quarter 
Things, he ordained Thors- 
ness Thing to be the Quar- 
ter Thing of the West- 
firthers, 18; father of Eyolf 
the Gray, 23. 

I. Thord Kausi, \6r^r kausi, 
i.e. the Cat, son of Snorri 

the Priest, sent by his father 
with his priest and Kiartan 
his nephew to put an end 
to the hauntings of Frodis- 
water, 151 ; dwelt in Duf- 
gusdale, 185, 189. 

2. Thord Kausi, baseborn son 
of Snorri the Priest, 189. 

Thord, son of Sturla Thiod- 
rekson, married to Hall- 
bera, the daughter of Snorri 
the Priest, 184. 

Thord, son of Sturla Thord- 
son of Hwamm, 185. 

Thord, son of Thorgils the 
Eagle, who was the son of 
Hallstein,the Priest of Hall- 
stein-ness, 135. 

Thord Wall-eye, bli'gr, son 
of Thorlak Asgeirson of 
Ere and Thurid, daughter 
of Audun Stote, 2 1 ; dwelt 
at the place called Cnear 
within Broadwick, 104 ; 
chaffs Biorn on the father- 
hood of Kiartan of Frodis- 
water, 105, 106; refuses in- 
sultingly to consent to his 
sister Helga marrying Thor- 
leif Kimbi, 108, 109; is 
smitten by a large piece of 
turf under the poll at Thors- 
ness Thing, wherefrom an 
armed fight befell, 109 ; so 
eager - tempered, that he 
could not be allowed to 
play with his equals at 
Playhalls, 112; sits beside 
the game, and, with Biorn 
the Broadwickers' Cham- 
pion, does mess-ward's ser- 

Index I. 


vice and discovers the as- 
sassin Egil, 115; betakes 
himself with those of Broad- 
wick to bring the thrall's- 
gild to Swanfirth, fights in 
the ensuing battle, and is left 
severely wounded at Ere, 
T 16-122; is healed of his 
wound by Yuletide, and 
joins in the fight of Sword- 
firth, 124-127 ; his wound 
at the Swanfirth fight atoned 
for, 131. 

Thordis, jidrdis, d. of Asmund 
the Long-hoary, married to 
Glum, the son of Uspak of 
Ere, 171. 

Thordis, by-named Gefn, a 
widow dwelling at Bank, 
200, 209. 

Thordis, daughter of Snorri 
the Priest and Hallfrid, the 
daughter of Einar, married 
to Bolli, the son of Bolli 
and Gudrun, the daughter 
of Osvif, 184, 189. 

Thordis, daughter of Thor- 
biorn Sur (only called Sur 
in this story), was mar- 
ried : — 

1. To Thorgrim the 
Priest, son of Thor- 
stein Codbiter, whom 
she bore the posthu- 
mous son Thorgrim, 
generally known as 
Snorri the Priest, 20. 

2. To Bork the Thick, 
brother of her former 
husband, 20, 190 ; 
ordered by him to give 

good cheer to her 
brother's slayer, Eyolf 
the Gray, she makes 
an attempt on the lat- 
ter's Ufe, 23 ; divorces 
Bork, 25 ; her bones 
taken out of earth, 


Thorfin, Jjorfinnr, sonof Fin- 
geir of Swanfirth, 1 1 ; fights 
with Thorstein Codbiter for 
the sanctity of Thorsness 
Thing against the Kiallek- 
ings, 15, 16. 

Thorfin, son of Gudlaug 
the Wealthy of Streamfirth, 

Thorfin, son of Sel-Thorir of 
Redmel, father-in-law of 
Thorbrand of Swanfirth, 20, 


Thorfin, son of Thorbrand 
of Swanfirth, 20. 

Thorfin Karlsefni (son of 
Thord Hesthofdi), goes to 
Vineland the Good, 135. 

Thorfinna, the Skald-woman 
of Thorwardstead, mother 
to Eyolf and sister to Tanni, 

Thorgaut, Jiorgautr, evi- 
dently of Thorgautstead, 
not of Sleylech, owner of a 
good weapon which Lyng- 
Torfi gets away from him, 
197, 198, cf. 215, 216, and 
235> 236 \ is at work in his 
stithy when his son Gisli is 
brought dead to him, 224, 
229 ; opposes at first laying 
chase to Bardi, but after- 


The Saga Library. 

wards joins in it, 230, 231 ; 
fights against Thorberg in 
the first brunt of the battle 
on the Heath, and is slain 
by Bardi, 235-237. 

Thorgeir, J)orgeirr, of As- 
garth's-knolls, married to 
Halldora, the daughter of 
Snorri the Priest, 184. 

Thorgeir, son of Geirrod of 
Ere, in Landnama surnamed 
Staple, Kengr, allies himself 
with Thorstein Codbiter to 
enforce the sanctity of the 
soil of Thorsness Thing, and 
fights with him against the 
Kiallekings to that end, 15, 

Thorgeir, son of Havar, 154. 

Thorgerd, forger^r, daughter 
of Thorbein, wife to Vigfus 
Biornson of Drapalith, 13, 
5 2 ; goes from one to ano- 
ther of the chiefs to get 
them to take up the blood- 
suit after her husband, 
which, at last, is taken in 
hand by Arnkel the Priest, 

Thorgerd, daughter of Thor- 
brand of Swanfirth, 20 ; 
married to Thormod, son 
of Thorlak of Ere, 108 ; re- 
fuses to go to bed with her 
husband after the battle of 
Swordfirth till she knows 
that his brother Bergthor is 
dead, 130. 

Thorgest the Old of Wood- 
strand (son of Stein Much- 
sailing), goes between the 

Thorsnessings and the Kial- 
lekings fighting at Thorsness 
Thing, 15, 16 ; brought a 
lawsuit at Thorsness Thing 
against Eric the Red for the 
slaughter of his sons, 54. 

Thorgest, son of Thorhall, 
see Guest, son of Thorhall. 

Thorgils, -gisl, a Norw. skip- 
per, takes on board for Ice- 
land Hall Gudmundson, 
whom the Hareksons slay, 
keeps the murder secret 
for a year, receives re- 
luctantly the moiety of 
Hall's goods at the hands 
of Bardi, 193. 

Thorgils, son of Ari of Reek- 
knolls, 154; goes north to 
Thwartwater in Eyiafirth to 
marry the daughter of Einar 
Eyolfson, brother to Gud- 
mund the Rich, 209 ; com- 
ing from the north is per- 
suaded by Snorri to pro- 
nounce the solemn formula 
of truce, not knowing that 
enemies, Bardi and his, 
were in the company, 244- 

246 ; his regret in learning 
from Snorri the true story, 

247 ; takes part in settling 
Bardi's affairs at the Althing, 

Thorgils, son of Gellir, father 
to Ari the Learned, 1 1 . 

Thorgils the Eagle, son of 
Hallstein the Priest, the 
son of Thorolf Mostbeard, 

^35- . , 

Thorgils, son of Snorri, the 

Index I. 


son of Alf-a-Dales, com- 
monly called Hallason, 154, 

Thorgils, son of Thorbein, 
brother toThorgerd, the wife 
of Vigfus Biornson of Drapa- 
lith, 13. 

Thorgisl Hewer, hoggvandi, 
of Hewerstead, joins the 
chase for Bardi, 231, 232 ; 
fights in the second brunt 
of the battle on the Heath, 
and receives a mortal wound 
from Thorgisl, the son of 
Hermund, 238-240 ; no 
were-gild was paid in atone- 
ment of him, 249. 

Thorgisl of Middleham, first 
cousin of Gefn's-Odd, a 
valiant man and a good 
skald, one of Bardi's fol- 
lowers, 200, 204, 210, 220. 

Thorgisl of Ternmere, son 
of Hermund, Bardi's first 
cousin, joins his expedition 
to Burgfirth, 202, 220; 
fights his namesake, Th. 
Hewer, in the second brunt 
of the battle on the Heath, 
and wounds him severely in 
the face, 239, 240. 

Thorgrim Burner, SviSi, 
second husband of Thora, 
the daughter of Snorri the 
Priest, 184. 

Thorgrim the Priest, son of 
Kiallak the Old, 1 2 ; joins his 
brother-in-law, Asgeirof Ere, 
to break the sanctity of 
Thorsness Thing, 14; fights 
thereon with the Thorsness 

folk, 15, 16; is ordered by 
Thord Yeller to maintain 
the temple of the Thorsness- 
ings half at his and his 
Thingmen's costs, 17 ; 
Thord gives him his kins- 
woman, Thorhild, in mar- 
riage, lb. ; they live at Bear- 
haven, 20 \ strives with 
Illugi the Black at Thors- 
ness Thing about the join- 
ture and dowry of Ingibiorg, 
Asbiorn's daughter, 30, 31; 
his death, 31. 

Thorgrim the Priest, son of 
Thorstein Codbiter, born the 
year that his father died, 
first called Grim, but Thor- 
grim after being dedicated 
to Thor, 19; "was a chief 
as soon as he had age 
thereto," wedded Thordis 
Sur's daughter of Dyrafirth, 
slew Vestein Vesteinson (see 
note to p. 20), and was 
killed in turn by his own 
brother-in-law, Gisli Surson, 
Vestein's foster-brother, 20. 

Thorgrima the Witchface, 
Galdrakinn, wife of Thorir 
Wooden-leg, 38 ; raises, at 
the bidding of Thorod the 
Scat-catcher, a wizard storm 
against Biorn the Broad- 
wickers'Champion, 106-108; 
lives at Frodis-water on bad 
terms with Thorgunna, 138 ; 
falls sick from the hauntings 
at Frodis-water and dies and 
walks again in the company 
of her husband, 150-152. 


A A 


The Saga Library. 

Thorgunna, a South-island 
woman, arrives at Rib on 
Snowfellness in a keel of 
Dublin, noted for her costly- 
personal belongings, 136; 
refuses Thurid of Frodis- 
water to sell her good things 
to her, yet goes to lodge at 
her bedroom with great 
splendour, 136, 137 ; stately 
of mien, queer of temper, 
yet exceeding well-man- 
nered, 138; a shower of 
blood wets hay and tools 
and clothes of the haymakers, 
but all dries speedily again 
except what Thorgunna had 
to do with, 139, 140 ; she 
falls ill and makes her will 
bidding to be buried at 
Skalaholt, and that her bed- 
gear should be burnt after 
her death, whereupon she 
dies, 140, 141 ; sheisbrought 
to Skalaholt, and on the way 
walks again, 142-144; her 
bedgear is not burnt (hence 
the hauntings of Frodis- 
water), 142, cf. 147 ; but on 
being burnt the ghosts obey 
the jurisdiction of a door- 
doom and depart, 151, 


Thorhall, goodman of lorvi, 
190; slain by Stir, 191. 

Thorhild, daughter of Thor- 
kel Main-acre, kinswoman 
(others say "daughter") of 
Thord the Yeller, wife of 
Thorgrim the Priest, son of 

Kiallak, 17 ; lives with her 
husband at Bearhaven, 20. 

Thorhild, baseborn daughter 
of Snorri the Priest, 189. 

Thorir Hound, Hundr, of 
Birchisle in Halogaland 
(created baron by King Olaf 
the Holy), 184, 259. 

Thorir, son of GuUhord, 
dwelt at Tongue in Bitten 
and had the wardship there 
of the drift-rights of Sturla 
Thiodreksonof Saurby, 158; 
is robbed by Uspak of a 
quantity of whale-flesh, 158- 
160 ; he intercepts Uspak 
returning with spoil from 
Thambardale, and puts him 
to flight, 1 6 1- 1 63. 

Thorir Wooden-leg, son of 
Em of ErnknoU, joins Thor^ 
biorn the Thick in ransack- 
ing the house of Thorarin 
the Swart of Mewlithe, 33 ; 
loses his leg in the fight that 
ensued, 36 ; is healed, and 
goes with wooden leg after- 
wards, whence his nickname, 
38 ; he and his sons blame 
Thorod Scat-catcher for put- 
ting up with Biorn Broad- 
wickers' Champion's visits to 
Frodis-water, 73 ; Hveswith 
Thorod at Frodis-water, 138; 
knows how to account for the 
Moon of Weird appearing on 
the wall of the hall at night, 
145 ; being attacked by the 
ghost of a lately dead shep- 
herd at Frodis-water, he falls 
sick and dies, and walks 

Index I. 


again till expelled the house 
by a door-doom sentence, 

Thorkel Main-acre, "neigh- 
bour " of Thord the Yeller, 
and father-in-law to Thor- 
grim the Priest, son of Kial- 
lak, 17. 

Thorkel, son of Thorbiorn 
Sur, brother to Gisli Surson, 

Thorlak, son of Asgeir of 
Ere, married to Thurid, 
the daughter of Audun Stote, 
21, 108. 

Thorleif, an Eastfirther and 
a vagabond, prays Snorri to 
take him in, but after a long 
talk with the latter goes to 
Arnkel on the same errand, 
and makes an attempt upon 
his life, and is slain by Arn- 
kel, 94, 95. 

Thorleif, son of Snorri the 
Priest, dwelt on Midfell- 
strand, 185, 189. 

Thorleif Kimbi, son ofThor- 
brand of Swanfirth, 20; goes 
abroad with Snorri the Priest, 
21 ; returns next year in a 
most showy fashion to his 
home in Swanfirth, 22; rates 
Snorri the Priest for his re- 
peated refusals to back him 
and his brothers against 
Arnkel, 86 ; insults Snorri 
for cowardice, and receives 
from him as a gift an axe, 
and makes an alliance with 
him to take Arnkel's life, 96 ; 
sets boldly on Arnkel at 

Orligstead, and is banished 
the country for three years 
as having given Arnkel his 
death-wound, 99, loi; takes 
berth on board a Norway 
craft in Streamfirth, and in 
the journey is smitten by 
Arnbiorn Asbrandson with 
a hot stirring stick and 
scalded, 101-103; comes 
back after two years to Ice- 
land, 104; his wooing of 
Helga, daughter of Thorlak 
of Ere, thwarted by her 
brothers, Steinthor and 
Thord Wall-eye, 108, 109 ; 
leads his brothers on an 
armed onset against Arn- 
biorn of Bank, and beards 
Snorri attempting to stave 
it off, no; by his rashness 
he brings about the battle of 
Swanfirth, and fights va- 
liantly, 1 1 9- 1 2 3 ; precipitates 
the battle of Swordfirth by 
shooting a spear at Stein- 
thor's men, and mortally 
wounding his brother Berg- 
thor, 125 ; in attempting to 
fetch Thord Wall-eye a 
death-blow, Steinthor smites 
his leg from him, 126; 
walked with a wooden leg 
ever after, 129; had atone- 
ment for his hurt at Thors- 
ness Thing, 131 ; goes to 
Greenland and there lived to 
old age, 135. 
'J'horleik, jjorleikr, goodman 
of lorvi, fosters Guest, son 
ofThorhall, 191, 192. 


The Saga Library. 

Thorleik, son of Brand, a 
brother's son of Stir, goes 
with Snorri on his first as 
well as his second journey to 
Burgfirth in revenge for 
Stir, his father-in-law, 153, 


Thorliot, Jjorljotr, of Walls, 
or, asothers say, of Sleybrook, 
fights with Eric Wide-sight 
in the first brunt of the battle 
on the Heath, and is slain 
by Eric, 237, 238. 

Thorliot, Yeller's fosterling, 
gjallandafostri, of Swine- 
water, one of Bardi's follow- 
ing, 201, 210, 220. 

Thormod, Jjormd^r, son of 
Bork the Thick, goes with 
Snorri to fight Uspak of Ere 
in his work, 169. 

Thormod the Priest, son of 
Odd the Strong (a settler 
who dwelt at Redpoll-stead, 
Rau^kollssta^ir), on the 
northern littoral of Faxebay, 

Thormod, son of Thorbrand 
of Swanfirth, 20. 

Thormod, son of Thorgaut, 
mows, with his brothers, 
Goldmead when Bardi falls 
upon them, 228; rides off 
to call out the chase after 
Bardi, 231, 232; fights in 
the third brunt of the battle 
on the Heath with Eyolf of 
Burg, whom he wounds 
severely, 241 ; but is him- 
self sorely wounded in the 
battle, 242. 

Thormod, son of Thorlak As- 
geirson of Ere and Thurid, 
th e daughter of Au dun Stote, 
2 1 ; married to Thorgerd, 
the daughter of Thorbrand 
of Swanfirth, 108; dwelt at 
Bank on the southern side 
of Templewick, 116; joins 
his brother Steinthor to fetch 
a ten-oarer from Gruflu- 
naust, and thus comes to fight 
with him the battle of Sword- 
firth, 124-127, 130 ; his son 
Kolli becomes the second 
husband of Sigrid, the 
daughter of Snorri the Priest, 

Thormod, son of Trefil, t.e.y 
of Thorkel Welt (cf. Saga 
Lib. I., index), a poet, 62, 
100, 122, 156. 

Thorod, foroddr, of Tern- 
mere, son of Hermund, 
cousin of Bardi, joins his 
raid to Burgfirth, 202, 220; 
fights, in the first brunt of 
the battle on the Heath, 
with Thorbiorn of Walls, by 
whom he is severely 
wounded, 236, 237 ; yet he 
fights on in the second 
brunt, 239; but his wound 
was so heavy that he must 
be left on the field, 241; 
one of the Southerners 
coming upon the field ot 
deed with Illugi the Black, 
finding Thorod alive, smites 
off his head, 242 ; is atoned 
by being paired with Thor- 
biorn Brunison, 249. 

Index I. 


Thorod, by-named Kegward, 
Kergar^r, kinsman of the 
sons of Gudmund, over- 
takes the lands and pro- 
perty of Bardi and his bro- 
thers for three years, 250, 
251 ; refuses to restore the 
land when, destitute after 
the shipwreck in Eyiafirth, 
they claim it to sell it for 
money, 254. 

Thorod Scat-catcher, of the 
Midfell-strand kindred, so 
called because on a trading 
voyage to Dublin he saved 
the tax-gatherers of Earl Si- 
gurd Lodverson of Orkney, 
and lent them his cock-boat 
for a handsome sum out of 
the scat they had collected, 
71, 72 ; marries Thurid, the 
sister of Snorri the Priest, 
and sets up house at Frodis- 
water, 72, 73 ; waylays, with 
the sons of Thorir Wooden- 
leg, Biorn the Broadwickers' 
Champion for befooling his 
wife, and when they are 
slain runs away, 73, 74; 
gets Snorri to take up the 
blood-suit, 74,75 ; provoked 
by Biom's visits, he bargains 
with Thorgrima Witchface 
to raise a storm at Biorn, 
106, 107 ; invites Snorri to 
a summer feast, and in- 
vokes his aid against Biorn 
of Broadwick, 131, 132 ; be- 
comes a Christian and builds 
a church at Frodis-water, 136; 
deals with Thorgunna, and 

with her will, contrary to her 
behest, 139-144; bewildered 
by the Moon of Weird, 145 ; 
goes with a crew of five in a 
ten-oarer west to Snowfell- 
ness to fetch stockfish, is 
drowned with all hands, 
they all walk again at Frodis- 
water till expelled the house 
by a door-doom sentence, 

Thorod, son of Snorri the 
Priest, wounded, at the age 
of twelve, in the battle of 
Swanfirth, 120; his wound 
judged upon at Thorsness 
Thing, 131 ; fights Uspak 
of Ere in his work under his 
father's command, 169; 
dwells at Spaewife's-fell in 
Skagastrand, 185, 189. 

Thorod, son of Thorbrand of 
Swanfirth, 20 ; married to 
Ragnhild, the daughter of 
Thord, 135 ; goes with his 
foster-brother Snorri the 
Priest to Norway, and re- 
turns in a year, 21, 22 ; aids 
Arnkel in giving a second 
burial to Thorolf Halt-foot, 
91 ; is severely wounded in 
the battle of Swordfirth, and 
healed of his hurts by 
Snorri, 128, 129; remains 
behind when his two brothers 
go to Greenland, and makes 
Swanfirth his home, 135 ; 
goes with Snorri to Burg- 
firth on his first as well as 
his second journey of re- 
venge for the slaughter of 


The Saga Library. 

Stir, 153, 154; takes Swan- 
firth after the death of his 
father, farming also the tene- 
ments of Ulfar's-fell and Or- 
hgstead, 171 ; he digs up 
and burns the corpse of 
Halt-foot, 172 ; his leg- 
broken cow, and the bull 
Glossy, which at last kills 

him, 173-179- 

Thorolf Bladderpate, forolfr 
Blo^ruskalli, father to Vest- 
ar, the head of the line of 
the Ere-dwellers, 11. 

Thorolf Hah -foot, Baegifdtr, 
son of Biorn, the son of 
Bolverk Blinding-snout and 
of Geirrid of Burgdale, chal- 
lenges Ulfar of Ulfar's-fell to 
a holmgang and slays him, 
but is himself maimed for 
life, 1 3 ; lived at Hvamm in 
Thorswaterdale, and sold 
Ulfar's-fell and Orligstead 
to Ulfar and Orlig, two 
freedmen of Thorbrand 
of Swanfirth, 13; his chil- 
dren and alliances, 13, 14 ; 
fights with Thorstein Cod- 
biter for the sanctity of 
Thorsness Thing against 
the Kiallekings, 15, 16 ; 
grows evil-minded in old 
age, 75 ; his dealings with 
Ulfar of Ulfar's-fell, 76-84; 
makes his slaves drunk at 
Yuletide, and sets them to 
burn Ulfar in his house, 79; 
plots against his son Arnkel 
for slaying his thralls, and 
bribes Snorri with the wood- 

land of Crowness to set a 
lawsuit afoot for it against 
Arnkel, 80, 81 ; obtains only 
ordinary thrall's-gild for 
them, and is mightily angry 
at Snorri therefor, 81, 82 ; 
hires Cunning-Gils to slay 
Ulfar of Ulfar's-fell, 83, 84 ; 
seeing Gils come running 
from the murder, he warns 
Thorbrand's sons to at once 
take possession of Ulfar's- 
fell,84, 85 ; claims back from 
Snorri the wood of Crow- 
ness, and, on being refused, 
goes to his son Arnkel and 
proposes that they two wrest 
it from him jointly : this 
being in vain, he goes home 
in an evil mood, and dies 
in the night sitting in his 
seat, 86-88 ; his evil appear- 
ance after death, and burial, 
88, 89 ; his walking, 89-92 ; 
his second burial, 90-92 ; 
the first signs of his second 
walking-again, 112; on the 
death of Arnkel he walks 
more terribly than ever, 171; 
Thorod of Karstead, with 
his neighbours, burns his 
corpse at Haltfoot's-head 
by the sea, 172; he re- 
appears in the shape of a 
dapple-grey bull, in com- 
pany with a broken-legged 
cow of Thorod's, which after- 
wards bears a dapple-grey 
bull-calf that at last kills 
Thorod, and sinks for ever 
in Glossy's-well, 173-179- 

Index I. 


Thorolf, son of Heriolf Hol- 
kinrazi, married to Geirrid, 
daughter of Thorolf Halt- 
foot, their son was Thor- 
arin the Swart of Mewlithe, 

Thorolf, son of Loft o' th' 
Eres, fought with Gyrd, 
the son of Earl Sigvaldi, 

Thorolf Mostbeard, Most- 
rarskegg, son of Ornolf the 
Fishdriver, a lord of the 
island of Most, harbours 
Biorn the Easterner for one 
winter in King Harald's de- 
spite, 5 ; his personal ap- 
pearance and lordliness, 6 ; 
gives Biorn a longship to go 
west over the sea, ib. ; is 
outlawed by King Harald, 
t'd. ; his devotion to Thor, 
who bids him go to Iceland, 
whither he takes Thor's 
temple with him : his jour- 
ney to Iceland, arrival in 
Broadfirth, his land-take, 
where Thor's pillars came 
ashore, hallowed by fire : 
his setting up of house at 
Templestead, 6-8 ; his tem- 
ple to Thor, and the wor- 
ship therein described, 8, 9 ; 
his belief in the holiness of 
Holy Fell, 9 ; his enforce- 
ment of law and order in 
his land-take, and of the 
sanctity of the Thingstead, 
9 ; his chieftain ways and 
largesse, tb. ; marries in 
old age a wife called Unn, 

with whom he has a son, 
Thorstein Codbiter, 1 2 ; 
dies at Templestead, and 
was laid in howe at Hows- 
ness, 14. 

Thorstein, son of Gisli of 
By, shelters Guest after the 
slaying of Stir, 192 ; op- 
poses, with other chiefs of 
Burgfirth, Snorri on his first 
journey to Burgfirth in re- 
venge for the slaying of 
Stir, 153, 192 ; nonsuits 
Snorri at the Althing in this 
blood-suit, 154; is slain that 
same summer by Snorri, 
together with his son Gun- 
nar, 154, 192. 

Thorstein the Swart, Surtr, 
son of Hallstein, the son of 
Thorolf Mostbeard, fostered 
at his grandfather's (re- 
formed the ancient Ice- 
landic calendar a.d. 960. 
Isl. Bok, ch. iv.), 12 ; has a 
homestead given him by his 
uncle Thorst. Codbiter (pro- 
bably Templestead ?;, 18. 

Thorstein Kuggison, 183. 

Thorstein the Red, Rau^r, 
son of Olaf the White and 
Auth the Deep-minded, 10 ; 
father of Osk, the wife of 
Hallstein, the son of Thorolf 
Mostbeard, 12. 

Thorstein Snowshoe, Ondurr, 
father to Fingeir of Swan- 
firth, II. 

Thorstein Codbiter, J)or- 
steinn ])orskabitr, the son of 
Snorri the Priest, fights U- 


The Saga Library. 

spak of Ere in his work under 
his father's command, 169 ; 
dwelt at Bathbrent, and be- 
came the forefather of the 
family called Asbirnings in 
Skagafiord, 185, 189. 

Thorstein, son of Slaying 
Stir, 32. 

Thorstein, of Hafsfirthisle, 
son of Thorgils, the son of 
Thorfin, the son of Sel- 
Thorir of Redmel, married 
to Vigdis, daughter of Illugi 
the Black, opposes, with his 
father-in-law, Snorri on his 
first expedition to Burgfirth 
in revenge for Stir, 153 ; his 
dealings with Snorri and his 
folk at Thorsness Thing, 
which led to the separation 
of the priesthood of the 
Redmel men from the Thors- 
ness Thing, and the setting 
up of a separate Thing of 
Streamfirth, 154-157. 

Thorstein Codbiter, first 
named Stein, but Thor- 
stein after being dedicated 
to Thor, son of Thorolf 
Mostbeard and Unn, 12 ; 
takes inheritance after his 
father, and marries Thora, 
daughter of OlafFeilan, 14; 
fights the Kiallekings in de- 
fence of the holiness of his 
Thingfield, 14-16; has to 
submit to Thord Yeller's 
award in the matter, 16-18; 
Holyfell House first built 
by him (and Templestead 
bestowed on his kinsman 

Thorstein the Swart?), 18; 
is drowned at five-and- 
twenty years of age, 19. 

Thorstein Windy - Nose, 
Hreggnasi, the father of 
Thorbiorg, the wife of Slay- 
ing Stir, 32. 

Thorwald, brother to Audolf 
of Audolfstead, 200. 

Thorun the Horned, jjorunn 
Hyrna, daughter of Ketil 
Flatneb, 3 ; given in wed- 
lock by her father to Helgi 
the Lean, 4. 

Thrand the Strider, Stigandi, 
son of Ingiald (the son of 
Alfarin, the son of Vali, who 
settled the western sea- 
board of Snowfellness), " by 
whom the homestead is 
named," is sent for by Snorri 
the Priest, and walks in one 
day from Ingiald's-knoll to 
Saelingsdale-tongue, 167 ; 
joins "Snorri on his expe- 
dition against Uspak of Ere 
in his work there, and kills 
Raven the Viking in a great 
dash of valor, 169; returns 
and abides awhile with 
Snorri, 171; after living long 
at Ingiald's-knoll he takes 
up his abode at Thrand- 
stead, q. v., 171. 

Thurid of Broadwick, daugh- 
ter of Asbrand of Combe, 
and sister to Biorn the 
Broadwick Champion, was 
the first wife of Thorbiorn 
the Thick, 26, 27. 

Thurid, daughter of Audun 

Index I. 


Stole, wife to Thorlak, the 
son of Asgeir of Ere, 21. 
Thurid, daughter of Bork the 
Thick and Thordis Sur's 
daughter, married, first, to 
Thorbiora the Thick of 
Frodis-water, 26 ; whom 
Thorarin the Swart slew at 
Combe-Garth, 36, 38 ; was 
said to stave off her sorrow 
well, 43 ; is taken to Holy- 
fell by her half-brother 
Snorri the Priest, because 
of the visits to her by Biorn 
the Champion of the Broad- 
wickers, 50; marries Thorod 
Scat-catcher, 72 ; continues 
to receive Biorn's visits, 72, 
73; gives birth to her son 
Kiartan (claimed by Biorn 
the Broadwickers' Cham- 
pion as his son), 75, 105, 
106; receives again re- 
peated visils of Biorn, 105- 
108, 132, 134; bids eagerly 
for Thorgunna's fine things, 
and on having her refusal 
invites her to Frodis-water in 
hopes to get them in time, 
136-138; prevails on her 
husband not to carry out 
Thorgunna's will in burning 
her bedgear, 142 ; falls sick 
from the hauntings at Fro- 
dis-water, but recovers on 
their being put an end to, 
151, 152; receives by Gud- 
leif, the son of Gudlaug, a 
message and gift from Biorn 
the Champion of Broadwick, 
181, 182. 

Thurid, daughter of Illagi the 
Red, Snorri the Priest's 
second wife, 189, 257. 

Thurid, daughter of Olaf Pea- 
cock, as it is alleged, wife 
of Gudmund of Asbiorn's- 
ness, and mother of Bardi 
and those brothers, 193, 
202 ; her way of rousing 
a revengeful jnood in her 
sons, 212, 213; rides off 
with the expedition in order 
to egg her sons on to big 
deeds, but is tricked out of 
the journey by Bardi's 
order, 213-215. 

Thurid the Wise, hin spaka, 
daughter of Snorri the 
Priest, married to Gunnlaug, 
the son of Steinthor of Ere, 
184, 189. 

Thurid, daughter of Thord, 
the son of Sturla Thiodrek- 
son and Hallbera, the daugh- 
ter of Snorri the Priest, 184. 

Thurid, daughter of Thorfin 
Selthorison, wife to Thor- 
brand of Swanfirth, 20. 

TiND, son of Hallkel of Hall- 
kelstead, joins in the chas- 
ing of Bardi, 231, 232 ; 
fights in the third brunt of 
the battle on the Heath, 240. 

TiNFORNi, son of ^sa of Swine- 
isle, second cousin once 
removed of Thorgrim Kial- 
lakson, defendant in a suit 
brought by Illugi the Black 
for the recovery of his wife's 
jointure and dowry, 30, 



The Saga Library. 

Ulfar, Ulfarr, a freedman of 
Thorbrand of Swanfirth, 
and brother to Orlig of 
Orligstead, 1 3 ; known for 
weather wisdom and lucky 
haymaking, 76; his dealings 
with Thorolf Halt-foot, 76- 
84 ; robbed of his hay by 
Thorolf, he goes and sues 
for the protection of Arnkel 
the Priest, who pays him up 
his loss, 77, 78; on being 
saved by Arnkel from arson 
attempted by Thorolfs 
thralls, he handsels him- 
self and all his into Arnkel's 
ward, 79 ; shares with Arn- 
kel his brother's goods at 
his death, which are claimed 
by the sons of Thorbrand, 
82, 83 ; is slain by Cunning- 
Gils on returning home from 
an autumn feast at Arnkel's, 


Ulfar the Champion, a com- 
panion of Geirrod of Ere, 
who " gave him lands about 
Ulfar's-fell," ii; is chal- 
lenged for his lands to holm- 
gang by Thorolf Halt-foot 
and slain, 13. 

Unn, Unnr, " some say she 
was daughter of Thorstein 
the Red, but Ari the Learned 
numbers her not among his 
children," \redded to Thor- 
olf Mostbeard in his old 
age, 12. 

Unn, al. Aud, Au^r, daughter 
of Snorri the Priest and his 
second wife, Thurid, the 

daughter of lUugi the Red, 
married first to Bardi Gud- 
mundson, 183, 189, 256-258: 
secondly to Sigurd, the son 
of Thorir Hound of Birch- 
isle, in Halogaland in Nor- 
way, 184, 259. 

UsPAK, the son of Glum, the 
son of Uspak of Ere (cf. 
vol. i., index), who strove 
with Odd Ufeigson in Mid- 
firth, 171. 

Uspak, son of Kiallak of 
Kiallaks-river, dwelt at Ere 
in Bitter, "unloved and the 
most unjust of men," 157 ; 
behaves unneighbourly to- 
wards Alf the Little, 
Snorri's agent, and Thorir 
of Tongue, Sturla Thiod- 
rekson's agent, 157, 158; 
he let build a strong work 
at Ere, "a wondrous good 
fighting-stead," 158 ; robs 
Alf the Little and Thorir of 
Tongue of a quantity of 
whale-flesh, 158-160; he goes 
and robs in Thambardale, 
and is set upon by Thorir 
of Tongue, and after some 
fighting runs away and saves 
himself in his work at Ere, 
1 61-163; his further mis- 
deeds and death, 163-170. 

Val, Valr, son of Thorir 
Wooden-leg, 38 ; joins Tho- 
rod the Scat-catcher in way- 
laying Biorn the Broadwick 
Champion, by whom he is 
slain, 73-74. 

Index I. 


VEERINGS, mercenary troops 
in Russia, 258. 

Vemund Kogr, Vemundr 
Kogr, one of three best 
skilled at arms in Iceland, 

Vermund the Slender, son of 
Thorgrim the Priest, son of 
Kiallak the Old, 2 1 ; mar- 
ried to Gudny, the sister 
of Thorarin the Swart, 2 7 ; 
sets up house at Bearhaven 
on the death of his father, 
3 1 ; takes up the case of 
Thorarin the Swart after the 
fight with Thorbiom the 
Thick, 39-44 ; offers to go 
abroad with Thorarin, and, 
in company with Arnkel, 
gets a ship at Daymeal-ness 
for the purpose, and goes 
with Thorarin to Norway, 
51, 52 ; becomes Earl 
Hakon's man, and, in re- 
cognition of his service gets 
from him two Swedish Bare- 
serks, and takes them with 
him to Iceland, 55-58 ; 
finding them too trouble- 
some he gets, in the end, 
his brother Stir to relieve 
him of them, 58, 59 ; he 
counsels Thorgerd whom 
to get to take up the blood- 
suit after Vigfus of Drapa- 
lith, her husband, 63, 64 ; 
acts as umpire in the suit 
that Snorri brought against 
Arnkel for the slaying of 
the thralls of his father, 81, 
82 ; acts again as umpire 

and peacemaker between 
Steinthor and the sons of 
Thorbrand after the battles 
of Swanfirth and Swordfirth, 
130, 131 ; is in Snorri's 
company when he goes to 
Burgfirth, the first time, to 
avenge the slaying of Stir, 
153; his son Brand mar- 
ries Sigrid, Snorri's daughter, 

\ ESTAR, Vestarr, son of Thor- 
olf Bladderpate, a settler, 
who " took land west away 
from Whalefirth," so the 
true reading must be, see 
Whalefirth ; he had his 
abode at Onward-ere, the 
family-seat of his de- 
scendants, the Ere-dwellers, 

Vestein, son of Vestein, bro- 
ther-in-law and foster-bro- 
ther of Gisli Surson, slain 
by Thorgrim the Priest, the 
son of Thorstein Codbiter, 

ViDKUNN of Birchisle, son of 
Jon Arnison and Ranveig, 
the granddaughter of Snorri 
the Priest, the same Vid- 
kunn being " one of the 
foremost among the barons 
of Norway," 184. 

ViGDis, daughter of lUugi the 
Black, wife of Thorstein 
Thorgilson of Hafsfirth- 
isle, 153. 

Vigfus of Drapalith, son of 
Biorn, the son of Ottar, 
Biorn the Easterner's son, 


The Saga Library. 

12, 52 ; had for wife Thor- 
gerd, daughter of Thorbein, 

13, 52; brings a suit into 
court at Thorsness Thing 
against Snorri the Priest for 
Mar Hallwardson's wound- 
ing of Biorn his (Vigfus') 
sister's son, and loses it, 
53 ; sends his thrall, Swart 
the Strong, to slay Snorri 
the Priest, who escapes, 
and forthwith kills Vigfus 

in return, 60-62 ; the next day 
he is laid in cairn, ib. ; the 
blood-suit after him, 62-65. 
ViLGEiR, son of Ottar, the son 
of Biorn the Easterner, 12. 

Worm the Slender, father to 
Thorbiorn the Thick, 26. 

Yngvild, Yngvhildr, daughter 
of Ketil Wether, wife to 
Ketil Flatneb, 3. 


Quotations under the signature K. refer to Dr. Kalund's Bidrag til en 
historisk-topografisk beskrivelse af Island, 2 vols. 8vo, Kj0benhavn, 1877- 
82 ; those under signature Th. to Ami Thorlacius' Skyringar yfir ornefni i 
Landndmu og Eyrbyggju, aiS svo miklu leyti, sem vi^ kemr {jornes Jjingi 
hinu forna, in Safn til sogu Islands, ii. 277-96. We are indebted for 
guidance, especially to the former authority, in many more instances than 
what the quotations show. 

Ambardale, Ambardalr, 
otherwise known as Am- 
battardalr (K. ii. 12-13), a 
valley within the mountain 
range of Waterness, 206. 

Asbiorn's-ness, Asbjarnar- 
nes, the homestead of Gud- 
mund and his sons Hall, 
Bardi, &c., on the western 
side of the lake Hope, 

202, 206, 211, 243. 

Asgarth's-knolls, AsgarSs- 
holar, a homestead in the 
lower part of Sselingsdale, 

short distance up from 
Hvammfirth, 184. 

Ash, Askr, in Willowdale, an 
unknown place or locality, 
nowhere else mentioned 
(K.), 211. 

Asmund's-nip, Asmundar- 
gnupr, a homestead situate 
beneath a peak of the same 
name at the northern end 
of the mountain-ridge that 
forms the eastern boundary 
of Willowdale, called Willow- 
dale mountain, the home of 

Index II. 


Eyolf Oddson, oneofBardi's 
allies, 201, 2IO, 220. 
AuDOLFSTEAD, AuBolfssta^ir, 
a homestead in Longdale, 

Ballara, Ballara, a home- 
stead on the westernmost 
point of the peninsula which 
is formed by Hvammfirth 
m the south and Broadfirth 
by west and north-west, 185. 

1. Bank, Bakki, the seat of 
Arnbiorn, son of Asbrand, 
situate " in Lavahaven," 
104, 108, no, III. 

2. Bank, Bakki (probably the 
modern Kongsbakki, on 
the southern shore of 
Templewick, Th. 277-279), 
the seat of Thormod, the 
brother of Steinthor of Ere, 
116, 117, 123, 124, 127, 

3. Bank, a homestead " lying 
west of Hunawater," the 
home of Thordis Gefn, 200, 

Bardstrand, Bar^astrond, 
part of the northern littoral 
of Broadfirth, beginning 
westofWaterfirthand reach- 
ing west to the precipitous 
foreshore stretch of Score- 
lithes, Skorarhli^ar, 12. 

Bathbrent, Laugarbrekka, 
the seat of Thorstein, the 
son of Snorri the Priest, 
situate right below the 
southern spurs of Snow- 
fellsiokul, a short distance 

south-west from Broadwick, 

Bearhaven, Bjarnarhofn, — it 
would have been better to 
call the place Biorn's-haven, 
after the first settler, than to 
translate it — 

1. The haven, or harbour, 
where Biorn the Easterner 
landed, now called Kum- 
baravogr, on the eastern 
side of the ness which 
separates Whalefirth in the 
west from that inlet from 
Broadfirth which forms 
Templewick as its most 
eastern extremity, 10. 

2. The homestead of Biorn's 
descendants, lo, 20,31, 39, 
4i> 43> 63, until KoUi of 
the Ere-dweller's kin got it, 

Biarnisforce, Bjarnafoss, a 
waterfall in Whitewater 
near to Gilsbank, 231. 

BiRCHiSLE, Bjarkey, now 
Bjerko, in Norway (further 
notices about this the most 
ancient market-place in Nor- 
way belong to Heims- 
kringla), 184, 259. 

Bitter, Bitra (see Bitra, Saga 
Lib. I., index), 157, 158, 
163, 168. 

Blanda, the largest river of 
Hunawater Thing which, 
coming from south-east, 
empties itself into the south- 
eastern bight of Hunafirth, 
200, 209, 210, 251. 

Blizzard-mere, Kolgumj^rar, 


The Saga Library. 

pi., an open swampy stretch 
of land between Hunawater 
and Blanda stretching in- 
land probably as far as 
Swinewater, 200. 

BowERFELL, Burfell, a home- 
stead " twixt Swinewater 
and Blanda," 200. 

Bridge, Bru, the bridge which, 
p. 231, is said to be across 
Whitewater at Biarnisforce 
in the neighbourhood of 
Gilsbank, 219, 223. 

Broadfirth, Brei^ifjor"Sr — 

1. A broad bight of the sea, 
cutting into western Iceland, 
so called first by Thorolf 
Mostbeard on his arrival in 
Iceland about a.d. 884, 8, 
10, II, 72, 104. 

2. Thewhole inhabited littoral 
and islands of the bay, 15, 
16, 181, 183. 

Broadford, Brei^ava^, a 
homestead on the lower 
Blanda in the Thing of 
Hunawater, 196, 208, 209. 

1. Broadlairstead, Brei^a- 
bolsta^r, on Woodstrand in 
Hvammfirth, the seat of 
Thorgest the Old, 54. 

2. Broadlairstead, a house 
situate on the western side 
of Westhopewater towards 
the southern end of it, 

Broadwick, Brei^avik, abight 
cutting into Snowfells-ness 
from the south exactly op- 
posite to that which from 
the north indentates the 

ness west of Buland's-head, 

2. The countryside surround- 
ing the bight of Broadwick, 
"a prettily rounded little 
valley, bounded by Shoulder- 
fell (in the east) the inland 
hill-rises and, furthest to- 
wards west, by the Snowfell- 
Glacier and the isolated 
little fell in front (south) 
thereof, Stapefell (K. i. 413), 

Buland's-head, Biilands- 
hofSi, a precipitous promon- 
tory east of Mewlithe (see 
map), 36, 37, 47, 48, 114, 

Burg, Borg, p. 256 called 
" Burg the southernmost," 
thus corresponding to the 
place now called Litla 
Borg, which stands south 
of Stora Borg on the 
southern spurs of the ba- 
saltic cone, Borgarvirki, be- 
tween lower Willowdale- 
water and Westhopewater 
(K. ii. 20), 202, 206, 215, 
216, 256. 

Burgbrook, Borgarlaekr, a 
streamlet beside which Biorn 
the Easterner was buried. 
" Probably the brook which 
now is called Rollulaekr — 
for there is now no other 
brook in the neighbourhood 
of the homestead (of Bear- 
haven) or the burg — that 
flows down on the southern 
skirts of the homemead of 

Index II, 



Bearhaven . . . but the 
howe of Biorn is now no 
more to be found ; maybe 
the brook has washed it 
away long ago " (Th. 280, 
281 ; cf. K. i. 432), II. 

BuRGDALE, a dale up the wes- 
tern slope of Erefell, " but 
so small, that it seems incre- 
dible that it ever could have 
had an independent home- 
stead" (K. i. 454); "an- 
cient ruins are found there, 
but they are more likely to 
be the remains of an old 
mountain dairy than of 
Geirrid's hall, for they are 
not any way near the road 
which now lies along the 
slope" (Th. 280). Thorolf 
Halt-foot found the lands 
here too narrow, and so 
challenged Ulfar the Cham- 
pion of Ulfar's-fell for his 
lands to a duel and won 
them, 13, 112. 

BuRGFiRTH (see vol. i., index), 
22, 153, 180, 181, 192, 204, 
208, 218. 

BuRGHOLT, Borgarholt, the 
first name of the seat of 
Biorn the Easterner, pro- 
bably the same place as 
Bearhaven, though in the 
expression, " Burgholt in 
Bearhaven," the former 
name designates Biorn's 
homestead, while the latter 
points to the harbour, or 
creek, where he landed ; no 
local name now points to 

the old site of Burgholt 
(Th. 280, K. i. 432), 10. 
By, a homestead of Biirgfirth 
on the southern side of the 
lower Whitewater, 153, 192. 

Cheaping, Kaupangr, later 
called NilSaross, then ]jrand- 
heimr, the old capital of 
Norway, founded by Olaf 
Tryggvason, 255. 

1. Cliffs, Bjorg, probably the 
rocky ridges which imme- 
diately west (" lit ") of As- 
biorn's-ness now are called 
Vesbjorg, 206. 

2. Cliffs, Klif, the home of 
Thorarin whom Halldor 
wounded, now existing nc 
more, but its locahty is as- 
certained by Kalund (ii. 52) 
as having been close to the 
mouth of Blanda, where the 
bed of the river is narrowed 
by rocky bluffs even now 
called Klif, 204, 

Cnear, Knorr, the home of 
Thord Wall-eye, situate 
within Broadwick, 104, 112. 

CoALPiTFiRTH, Kolgiafa- 

fjor^r, the westernmost 
branch or fork of Whale- 
firth, forming the upper sea 
boundary of the Onward- 
Ere peninsula, 167. 

Combe, Kambr, the seat of 
Asbrand, situate west of 
Cnear, in the countryside 
of Broadwick, 26, 50, 102 ; 
afterwards, on Asbrand's 


The Saga Library. 

death, the home of Biorn 
his son, io6, io8. 

Combe-Garth, Kambgar'Sr, 
KamgarBr, a name given to 
a haystack-yard west of the 
homestead of Mewlithe, the 
whereabouts of which are 
otherwise unknown, 35. 

CoMBEHEATH, KambsheiSr, 
the mountain between the 
countrysides of Frodis-water 
in the north and Broadwick 
in the south, 132. 

Constantinople, 192. 

CoPSEDALE, Kjarra-dalr, the 
valley formed by Kjarra, as 
the upper Thwartwater of 
Burgfirth is called, 219, 222. 

Copses, Hrisar, a homestead 
below the opening of Thors- 
waterdale on the western 
watershed of Swanfirth, 51. 

Crossness, Krossnes, the seat 
of Brand, the son of Thor- 
grim the Priest, the son of 
Kiallak, situate beneath the 
north-eastern spurs of Seal- 
riverhead, on the western 
side of Grundarfjord, q. v., 

21, 153- 

Crosswaterdale, Krossar- 
dalr, a small valley running 
north-west inland from the 
northern side of Bitter, 158. 

Crowness, Krakunes, " still 
known by the old name ; " 
it stretches out from the 
northern spurs of Ulfar's- 
fell, on the western shore 
of Swanfirth, and is bounded 
by Thorswater by the west. 

"the best possession in the 
countryside on account of 
its wood," 81, 84, 86, 87. 
Cunning-Gils-stead, Spagils- 
sta'Sirjthe home of Cunning- 
Gils in Thorswaterdale, of 
which no traces are now dis- 
coverable, 83. 

Dairyhead, Seljahof^i, some 
headland on the eastern side 
of either Whalefirth or the 
narrow inlet from it to Lava- 
firth, 124, 

Dale-lands, Dalalond, the 
dales which shed their 
waters into the innermost 
part of Hvammfirth ; of this 
tract the land-take of Auth 
the Deep-minded comprised 
the watershed from Skrau- 
muhlaups-river on the south 
side of Hvammfirth,allround 
the bottom of the bay and 
out to Daymeal-water, run- 
ning from the north into 
the bay a few miles west of 
Hvamm, 11. 

Daymeal-ness, DogurSarnes, 
the westernmost point of 
the peninsula which divides 
Hvammfirth from Broad- 
firth proper, with a harbour, 
51, 72, 104, no, 123, 136. 

Daymeal - water, Dagver- 
^ara, a streamlet running 
from the north into Hvamm- 
firth a few miles west of 
Hvamm, 11. 

Denmark, Danmork, 75,. 
102, 103, 255-256. 

Index II. 



DiMON, a group of islands 
in Broadfirth, north of the 
considerable island of 
Hrappsey, west of Daymeal- 
ness, 51. 

Dimon's-bay, 54. 

DiRTSKERRY, Dritsker, a skerry 
situate in Tern plestead-wick ; 
"it is a small, pretty high, 
on the top a greenish 
skerry, which by a natural 
causeway of rocks joins the 
land, so that by ebbtide one 
can go out into it dry-shod " 
(K. i. 437), 9, 16. 

Drangar, the homestead of 
Olaf Eyvindson, 164. 

Drapalith, DrapuhliS, the 
homestead of Vigfus Biorn- 
son, situated beneath the 
north - western spurs of 
Drapalith-fell, Drapuhli^ar- 
fjall, the inland southern 
background, as it were, of 
the Thorsness peninsula, 
12, i3> 5i» 60, 61, 62, 

Dublin, a port for Iceland 
trade, 71, 136, 179, 182. 

DuFGUSDALE, Dufgusdalr, a 
valley which opens out to- 
wards the southern lowlands 
of the eastern Snowfellness 
peninsula from the so-called 
Kerlingar-skar^, Carline's 
Pass, which is the high road 
to the South from the coun- 
trysides of Thorsness, 1 10 ; 
2. the house of Thord 
Kausi, the son of Snorri the 
Priest, now waste, 185. 
II. B 

Dyrafirth (see vol. i., index), 

Egil's-pass, Egilsskar^, a pass 
bearing the same name still, 
on the western side of the 
mountain called Shoulder, 
q. v., just above Playhall- 
meads, 115. . 

EiDi, Ei^, a homestead on 
the narrowest neck of the 
Ere (Onward-Ere) penin- 
sula, 167. 

Ellidis-isle, Elli^aey, an 
island of Broadfirth, due 
west of Daymeal-ness, 51, 


England, 192, 195. 

Enni, the " front " or " fore- 
head " (now Olafsvikr-enni), 
a mountain blufif close upon 
the foreshore on the western 
side of the broad bight at 
the bottom of which is 
Frodis-water (41 ?), 148, 

Enni, see Skridinsenni. 

1. Ere, Eyrr, short for Geir- 
rblSareyrr, now called Narf- 
eyri, situate on the eastern 
side of Swanfirth, some dis- 
tance up from the sea, on 
the north-western spurs of 
" Eyrar- " or " Narfeyrar- 
fjall " (Ere- or Narf-ere fell), 
the seat of Geirrod, the 
settler of Swanfirth, 11, 15, 

2. Ere, earliest name ondver^ 
Eyrr, Onward-ere, now called 



The Saga Library. 

" Hallbjarnareyri," Hall- 
biorn's-ere, the family-seat 
of the Ere-dwellers, situate 
out on the considerable 
peninsula which divides the 
waters of Groundfirth in 
the west from those of 
Whalefirth and its continua- 
tion, Coalpitfirth, in the east, 
II, 21, 32,49,63, 108, 116, 

125, 130- 

3. Ere, i.e., Uspak's-Ere, U- 
spakseyrr, now Ospakseyri, 
a homestead in Bitter on 
the northern side of the 
firth, the seat of the robber 
Uspak, 157, 158, 160, 161, 
163, 165, 168, 170. 

Eres, Eyrar, now "Eyrar- 
bakki," a harbour in 
southern Iceland, the home 
of Loft o' th' Eres, 179. 

Eric's-creek, Eireks-vagr, a 
harbour in Oxisle, where 
Eric the Red dight the ship 
in which he sailed, when he 
discovered Greenland, 54. 

Ernfirth, ArnarfjorSr, see 
vol. i., index, 23. 

Ernknoll, Arnarhvall, a 
homestead in the close neigh- 
bourhood of Frodis-water to 
the west of it, the seat of 
Em, the father of Thorir 
Wooden-leg, 33, 73- 

EvENDALE, Slettidalr, two 
homesteads, each of the 
same name, " up from 
Swinewater," 200. 

EviAFiRTH, the longest bay in 
northern Iceland, 209. 

Firth- HORN, Fjar^arhom, a 
homestead which exists no 
longer, though the name is 
preserved, and the spot now 
is occupied by the ruins of 
a tenement from Ere, on the 
northern side of the bottom 
of Bitter, 161. 

Flats, Flotr, now Flatir, an 
upland road leading from 
the homestead of Redmell 
west of Hafsfirthriver in the 
northern watershed of Faxe- 
bay, over a comparatively 
flat wilderness down to 
Longdale (the easternmost 
of two parallel valleys of 
that name) in the watershed 
of Hvammfirth, a short way 
to the east of Swanfirth, 

Flokisdale, a valley in Burg- 
firth, between the two Reek- 
dales. See vol. i., index, 
Reekdale, 219. 

Flysa-wharf, Flysju- or Flisu- 
hverfi, a countryside west of 
Burgfirth, between Hitriver 
(east) and Coldriver (west), 
see map, 153, 190. 

Frodistead, Fr6%asta^ir, a 
homestead of Whiteriver- 
side west of Thorgautstead, 

Frodis-water, Fr6Sa,the seat 
of Worm the Slender and 
his descendants, situate on 
the eastern bank of a river 
of the same name, which 
falls into the bottom of the 
broad bight which, west of 

Index II. 


Buland's-head, cuts into the 
northern side of Snowfells- 
ness, 26, 27, 33, 38, 43, 72, 
104, 107, 136, 137, 138, 
139, 140, 145-152, 155. 

Frodiswater - MOUTH, not 
Frodis-mouth, 104. 

Fyrisfield, Fyrisvellir, now 
" Fyrisvall," the meadows 
on both sides of the river 
Fyris, between Upsala and 
the lake of Malaren, 75. 

Gablefell-heath, Gaflfells- 
hei^r, a portion of the up- 
land watershed between the 
Hvammfirth and the Bitter 
basins, 168. 

Galmastrand, Gdlmastrond, 
that portion of the western 
littoral of Eyiafirth, which 
stretches from Horgwater 
out to where the coast bends 
inward towards Svarfadar- 
dale, 251, 252. 

Garthrealm, Gar^arlki, 

Russia, 258. 

Geirvor, Geirvor, a scree {i.e. 
the heaped-up debris of a 
land-slip from a mountain 
side where it comes to rest on 
the lowland beneath) below 
a deeply-cut water-gorge in 
the mountain a short dis- 
tance to the west of Swan- 
firth, 113, 120. 

Gilsbank, Gilsbakki, a home- 
stead on the northern side 
of upper Whitewater, just 

above the upper boundary 
of Whitewaterside proper, 

Glossy's-well, "down before 
the stead at Hella " ; "down 
below the knoll on which 
the homestead of Hella 
stood, there are found, in the 
boglands on the southern 
side of the firth, many 
marsh-holes and mud-pits, 
of which one, the nearest to 
Hella, is particularly dan- 
gerous to animals, and this, 
it is supposed, is Glossy's- 
well " (K. i. 452), 178. 

Gold mead, Gullteigr, a good 
meadow in the close proxi- 
mity to Thorgautstead, 218, 
220, 226, 227. 

Gorge-water, Gljiifrd, a river 
that has its source on the 
eastern side of Willowdale 
mountain, Vi^idalsfjall, and 
in a north-westerly bend 
round the spurs of Asmund's- 
nip empties itself into the 
Hope, 210. 

Greenland, discovered by 
Eric the Red, 54, 55, 135. 

xiv, footnote. 

Gruflunaust, the " naust " = 
boat-house or -houses, of 
Grufla, which evidently was 
the ancient name of the 
brook now called Gruflu- 
Isekr, Gruflu-brook, " Gru- 
fla" meaning the sedimen- 
tary, easily muddied stream, 
situate on the southern side 


The Saga Library. 

of Swordfirth, west ofThing- 
hallness, 123. 
GuDBRANDSTEAD, Gu^brands- 
sta^ir, in Willovvdale, an 
unknown homestead of 
which no tradition even is 
preserved (K. ii. 26-28), 
211, 2Q7, 298. 


hof^i, the outermost head- 
land on the south side of 
Bitter, 157. 

Hafsfirthisle, now called 
Byisle, " Baejarey," in a 
creek just west of the mouth 
of Hafsfirthriver, formerly 
an inhabited island, but now 
to a great extent washed 
away (K. i. 406), the home 
of Thorstein Thorgilson, 

153, 154, 155- 
Hallkelstead, Hallkels- 

sta?)ir, a homestead of 

Whitewaterside, north-east 

of Gilsbank, 231. 

Hallsteinsness, Hallsteins- 
nes, the house of Hallstein 
Thorolfson, situate on the 
ness of the same name 
which divides Deepfirth and 
Codfirth, two inlets into the 
northern littoral of Broad- 
firth, II, 135. 

Hallwardstead, Hallvar^s- 
sta^ir, a homestead on the 
southern bank of White- 
water, wellnigh opposite to 
Thorgautstead and Gold- 
mead, 219, 223. 

Halogaland, the northern- 
most province of Norway of 
old, 184, 257. 

Haltfoot's-head, Baegifots- 
hof^i, " a small headland on 
the western side of Swan- 
firth, a short way out from 
Lairstead" (Th. 281), 92, 

Havenfells, Hafnarfjoll, the 
southern mountain boun- 
dary of Burgfirth, 219. 

Hawkdale, Haukadalr — 

1. The second valley up from 
the mouth of Dyrafirth, cut- 
ting into its southern litto- 
ral, 20. 

2. The stead within this dale 
whereat Thorgrim the Priest 
was slain, 20. 

Hawks-river, a small stream 
about midway between Svelg- 
river and the Knolls, 93. 

Heath = Two - days' Heath, 
q. v. 

Hella, a homestead now no 
longer existing, but the site 
of which is pointed out in 
the valley wherein Orlig- 
stead is situate, opposite to 
the latter house (K. i. 452), 

Herdholt, HjarSarholt, seat 
of Olaf Peacock, on the north 
side of Laxwaterdale, a short 
distance up from the bot- | 
tom of Hvammfirth, 184. 

Hewerstead, Hoggvanda- 
sta^ir, the house of Thorgisl 
Hewer, a short distance west 
of Gilsbank, "where now 

Index II. 


there stands a sheep pen " 
(K. i. 347), 231. 

HiGHFELL, Havafell, up valley 
the next homestead toThor- 
gautstead in Whitewater- 
side, 231. 

Holt, west of Mewlithe, the 
seat of the witchwife Katla, 
27, 28, 44, 45. 

Holy-Fell, Helgafell — 

1. An isolated basaltic moun- 
tain in the centre of Thors- 
ness, believed by the heathen 
Thorsnessings to be their 
paradise after death, whence 
their devoted worship of the 
place, 9, 14-19; counsels 
taken on the top of it were 
believed to be peculiarly 
favoured by good fortune, 
67. See note, p. 277. 

2, A homestead, situate south 
of the " fell, in a slight scoop 
formed by the so-called 
Cloister-knolls to the east 
and the so-called Byre- 
knolls to the west" (Th. 
285), first set up by Thor- 
stein Codbiter (about a.d. 
935), 18; afterwards the 
seat of his widow, 19; then 
of Bork the Thick, 20, 22- 
25 ; then of Snorri the Priest, 
26, 28, 52, 53, 60, 61, 72, 
80,83, 85, 93, 97, 100, 116, 
123, 125, 128, 134, 135, 
i5o> 153, 182, 190; lastly 
of Gudrun, daughter of Os- 
vif, 153, 190; consecrated 
monastery, 1184, xxi. In 
all probability the place 

where the Ere-dwellers'Story 
was written, xix-xxi. 

Hope, Hop, a large standing 
water formed by the Willow- 
dale watershed on the 
broad level lands at the 
bottom of Hunabay, 199, 

HoPE-OYCE, Hopsoss, the out- 
let into Huriafirth of the 
waters of the Hope, 207. 

HoRDALAND, Hor^aland, 102. 

HoRNFiRTH, HornafjorSr, the 
southernmost of the so- 
called Eastfirths of Iceland, 

HoRSEHOLT, Hrossaholt, now 
"Hrossholt," a homestead 
on the Hafsfirth river, see 
map, 153. 

HousEwiCK, Husavik, from 
of old a trading station on 
the eastern shore of inner 
Skialvandi, a broad bay 
which, next to the east of 
Eyiafirth, cuts into northern 
Iceland, 254. 

HowEBRENT, Haugabrekkur, 
a place to the north-east of 
the mouth of Frodis-water, 
still so-called, 104. 

HowEFORD, Haugsva^, a ford 
on Whitewater ' ' over against 
By " (K. i. 308, brings evi- 
dence to show that it is 
quite uncertain where this 
ford, if ever it existed, may 
really have been), 153. 

HowNESS, Haugsnes, " west 
of Templestead," the burial- 
place of Thorolf Most- 


The Saga Library. 

beard ; '' so is still called the 
ness, which is but a short 
distance west of the house 
of Templestead. Where 
the howe of Thorolf has 
been is not known now, 
though careful search has 
been made for it ; for what 
formerly was so called 
proved when dug into in 
1840 to be but a grass- 
tufted rock" (Th. 285, cf. 
K. i. 437), 14- 
HuNAWATER, Hunavatn, a 
water - gathering east of 
Hope, formed by the water- 
shed of Waterdale on the 
stretches of the lowland that 
borders the eastern bight of 
the bottom of Hunabay, 1 99. 

1. HvAMM, Hvammr, the seat 
of Auth the Deep-minded, 
on the north-western side of 
the bottom of Hvammfirth, 
11; in the days of the 
Ere-dwellers' story the home 
of her great-grandson, Thord 
the Yeller, 14. 

2. HvAMM, the seat of Thorolf 
Halt-foot after his fight with 
Ulfar the Champion, situate 
in Thorswater- or Thors- 
river-dale, " now in ruins, 
and has doubtless been so 
for many centuries, but the 
name of the homestead is 
well-known, and its site 
clearly ascertained " (Th. 
288), 13, 88, 89. 

Iamtaland, Jamtaland, now 

Jemteland, a province in 
Sweden, 3, 5. 
Iceland, Island, 7, 10, 11, 
21, 22, 54, 56, 57, 58, 72, 

104, i35> 136, i53> i79» 
180, 182, 231, 256. 

Iceland-faring, Islandsfer^, 


Ingiald's - KNOLL, Ingjalds- 
hvall, the home of Thrand 
the Stridor, situate towards 
the northern extremity of 
Snowfellness, 167, 171. 

Ireland, 71, 72, 179, 182. 

Irish (the), Irar, 4. 

Isleford, Eyjarva^, = Eyia- 
ford (Eyjava^, vol. i., 154), 

Jawfirth, Kjdlkafjor^r, the 
next westernmost of the 
bays that from Broadfirth 
cut into its northern margin, 

JoMSBURG, Jdmsborg, the 

castle of Jom on the coast 

of Vendland, 75. 

Karstead, KarsstaSir, the 
same homestead as Swan- 
firth, called by anticipation 
by the name which it ac- 
quired first after the death 
of Thorod Thorbrandson, 
when his son Kar set up 
house there (as stated p. 
179). 85, 90, 118, 172, 173, 

Keel, Kilir, pi. of Kjolr, now 
Kjolen, the vast mountain 
upheaval that forms the 

Index II. 


watershed between Norway 
and Sweden, 3, 5, 

Kiallak's-river, Kjallaksa, 
the seat of Kiallak, the 
father of Uspak, situate on 
Skridinsenni (q. v., vol. i., 
p. 76, and note), the bold 
headland on the northern 
side of Bitter, 157. 

KiALLAKSTEAD, Kjallaksta^if, 
the seat of Barne-Kiallak in 
Midfellstrand, 14. 

KiMBi's Bay, Kimbavdgr, a 
firth in Greenland, 135. 

Knolls, Holar, a homestead 
north-west of Svelgriver, 93. 

Lairstead, Bolsta^r, the seat 
of Arnkel the Priest, " is 
now waste, and, without 
doubt, has been so for many 
centuries, so little is now to 
be seen of the remains of 
the house-tofts. The house 
has stood in the midst of a 
level lawn, a short way 
north - below Vadilshead, 
about one hundred ' fa- 
thoms ' up from the sea ; 
the site, however, is called 
Lairstead (a Bolsta^) still 
to this day " (Th. 280), 
20, 42, 44, 50, 62, 64, 83, 

94, 171- 
Lambstead, LambastaSir, the 

seat of Eyolf, the son of 
Snorri the Priest, situate on 
the southernmost promon- 
tory on the western side of 
Burgfirth, 185. 
Lavafirth, HraunfjorSr, a 

long and narrow inlet which, 
in a south-easterly direc- 
tion, cuts into the land up 
from Whalefirth, q. v., 10, 

2. The homestead of Audun 

Stote, " situate a short dis- 
tance from the firth west of 
and above the lava" (Th. 
287), 21. 

Lavahaven and Lavahaven- 
mouth, Hraunhafnaros, a 
harbour and house on the 
southern side of Snowfell- 
ness, east of Broadwick, now 
called " Bu^ir " and " Bu=Sa. 
OS," 104, 108, no, 132, 134. 

Laxwater, Laxa, a river that 
runs out of Swinewater into 
the south-eastern bight of 
the bottom of Hunafirth, 

Laxriver : read Laxrivers ; 
the passage should be 
emended thus : " folk held 
a thronged sheepfolding on 
the ' tongue ' betwixt the 
Laxrivers up from Holy- 
Fell." The "Tongue" of 
the ed. is not a proper 
name, but an appellative. 
These are two confluent 
rivers, the waters of which, 
after joining, empty them- 
selves into Templestead- 
wick ; now the easternmost 
of the two is called " Gris- 
holsd," the westernmost 
" Bakkaa " (Th. 290, K. i. 

435. 436), 52- 
Laxwaterdale, Laxardalr, a 


The Saga Library. 

long valley running due east 
of Hvammfirth, 184 n. 
Lechmote, Laekjamot, the 
homestead of Thorarin the 
Wise, situate in the upper 
part of Willowdale, 194, 
197, 199, 203, 206, 211. 

1. LoNGDALE, Langidalr, the 
westernmost of two dales 
running parallel to Swan- 
firth, east of it and divided 
from it by the mountain- 
ridge called Eyrarf jail (Ere- 
fell), 1 1 ; therein a home- 
stead of the same name, 15, 

2. LoNGDALE, the valley 
formed by the lower Blanda, 
200, 209. 

Man, Isle of Man, Mon, 
harried by Earl Sigurd Lod- 
verson of Orkney, 71. 

Mead, see Goldmead. 

Mewlithe, Mavahlf^, the 
seat of Thorolf Heriolfson 
and of his son Thorarin the 
Swart, situate on the low- 
land under the western 
slope of Buland's-head on a 
shallow inlet from the sea, 
14, 27, 28, 29, 32, 33, 38, 


MiDDLEHAM, Me^alheimr, on 
Blizzard-mere, 200, 210, 

MiDFELL-STRAND, Me^alfells- 
strond, now called " Fells- 
strond,"the northern littoral 
of Hvammfirth, west of 

Auth's land-take, 14, 25, 30, 
31, 185. 

MiRES, see vol. i., index ii., 

Mire, Floi, a place on Two- 
days'-Heath, filled with 
standing waters; the lake 
where the fight took place 
is supposed to have been 
the so-called Rolfswater, 
Hrdlfsvatn, 219. 

Most, Mostr, an island off 
South Hordaland {q, v.), in 
Norway, 5 ; with a great 
temple of Thor in it, 6. 

Mouth, see Lavahaven. 

Much Bank, Bakki enn meiri, 
see Bank. 

Necks, Halsar, a countryside 
which, according to the 
saga, appears to have bor- 
dered on Blizzard - mere 
from the east, 200. 

Ness, short for Snowfellness, 
q. v. 

Nether-ness, Nes hit ne^ra, 
now " Ne^ranes," a home- 
stead situate towards the 
tip of the tongue of land 
which is formed by the con- 
fluence of Thwartriver and 
Whitewater in Burgfirth, on 
the southern bank of the 
first-named river (cf. map to 
Hen Thorir's saga, vol. i.), 

NiPSDALE, Nupsdair, 218, see 

note, p. 299. 

Northwater, Nor^rd, a river 

of Burgfirth (see vol. i. 

Index II. 


index ii., and map to Hen 
Thorir's saga), 143. 

dalr, the valley formed by 
the upper Northwater, a 
northern tributary to White- 
water, 231. 

Norway, Norvegr, later "Nor- 
egr, 3, 4, 22, 55, 192, 255. 

Ofeig's-force, Ofeigsfoss, a 
waterfall in the so-called 
Ulfarsfell-river, tumbling 
through a gorge high up on 
Ulfarsfell-neck, a short dis- 
tance south of Lairstead, 98. 

Onward-ere, ondverS Eyrr, 
= 2. Ere. 

Orkneys, Orkneyjar, viking 
quarter in the ninth cen- 
tury, 3, 71, 72. 

Orligstead, orlygsstaSir, the 
seat of the freedman OrHg, 
situate in a little valley a 
short distance up from the 
bottom of Swanfirth, on the 
western side of it, 13, 82, 
96, 97, 98-100, 122, 171. 

Orris-knoll, Orrahvall, a 
homestead on Midfellstrand, 


Otterdale, Otrardalr, a home- 
stead in Ernfirth (see vol. i., 
index), 23. 

OxBRENTS, oxnabrekkur, 

some rocky hillrises on the 
northern side of Swordfirth, 
which, however, now are not 
known by the old name, but 
are called Illugabjorg, lUu- 
gisbergs (Th. 296), 93, 127. 

Oxisle, oxnaey, an island in 
Broadfirth, north of Wood- 
strand, the last home of 
Eric the Red in Iceland be- 
fore he set out on his voyage 
of discovery and found 
Greenland, 54. 

Playhall-meads, Leikskala- 
vellir, flat meads which 
form the lowland between 
the western spurs of the 
projecting mountain, called 
" Shoulder," the north- 
western boundary of Lava- 
haven, and the Lava, now 
called " Bii^ahraun," south 
thereof, 112. 

Playhalls, Leikskalar, a 
homestead which must have 
stood about the Playhall- 
meads, q. v., but of which 
now no trace is found, 114. 

Raumarik, Rauman'ki, now 
" Romerike," one of the two 
bailiwicks of Raumafylki in 
Norway, 3. 

Redmell, the seat of Thorfin, 
the son of Sel-Thorir, on the 
western side of Hafsfirth 
river, which from the north 
empties itself into the north- 
easternmost bight of Faxe- 
bay proper, 20, 154, 155. 

Redwickhead, RauSavikr- 
hof^i, a headland on the 
northern side of Swordfirth, 
96, 118. 

Reekness, Reykjanes, the 


The Saga Library. 

south-westernmost promon- 
tory of Iceland, 7. 

Reek-knolls, Reykjaholar, 
seat of the descendants 
of Ari, the son of Mar, 
the famous Reeknessings, 
situate on Reekness, the 
most prominent peninsula 
on the northern side of 
upper Broadfirth, 154. 

Reef, Rif, a disused harbour, 
and at present a fishing 
station, on the northern ex- 
tremity of Snowfellness, 
where the broad bight begins 
which is bounded in the 
east by Buland's-head, 136. 

Ridge, Ass, now called Big- 
Ridge, Stori-As, south of 
Whitewater, some distance 
higher up than Thorgaut- 
stead on its northern side, 

RoGALAND, a district of Nor- 
way, corresponding to the 
present governorship of 
Stavanger, 22. 

SiELiNGSDALE, a vallcy running 
inland in a northerly 
stretch from the bottom of 
Hvammfirth, 153, 257. 

stead within Saelingsdale, the 
seatofSnorrithe Priest after 
he left Holyfell, 153, 157, 
166, 167, 183, 185, 190, cf 

Saltere-mouth, Salteyrar- 
dss, a harbour, the exact 
locality of which is unknown, 

except so far that it must 
have been in, or in the close 
neighbourhood of the firth 
now known as Ground- 
firth. Dr. Kalund is most 
inclined to think that it was 
the narrow inlet shown on 
the map next to Ground- 
firth, to the west of it be- 
tween the two mountains of 
Kirkjufell and Stc^, 32, 51. 

Saurby, Saurbaer, a broad 
valley running southward up 
from the southern shore of 
Broadfirth, where it begins 
to narrow into its eastern- 
most offshoot, the Gilsfirth, 

Saxlech, Saxalsekr, now called 
" Faxalsekr," a drain from 
Westhope-water falling into 
Willowdale- water (K.), 214. 

Sealriver-head, Brimlar- 
hof^i, an isolated mountain 
forming the western boun- 
dary of the outer part of the 
bay which now bears the 
name of Groundfirth ; its 
present name is Sto^, 21, 
note, p. 273. 

Seastead, Saebol, a homestead 
in Hawkdale, first the seat 
of Thorbiorn Sur, after- 
wards that of his son-in-law 
Thorgrim the Priest, 20. 

Selbrents, Selja-brekkur, "to 
the north (east) from Drapa- 
lithe straight in one's gaze 
coming up (south) from 
Holyfell" (Th. 291), 60, 61. 

Seliafirth, Seljafjor^r, most 

Index II. 


probably the narrow inlet 
from Whalefirth to Lavafirth 
proper, 167. 

Sheepfell, SauSafell, on the 
river called Midwater, which 
runs into the south-eastern- 
most corner of Hvamm- 
firth, 184. 

Shoulder, 5x1, a shoulder- 
shaped semi-isolated moun- 
tain, projecting from the 
main mountain range of the 
Snowfellness peninsula, and 
forming the north-western 
enclosure of the Lavahaven 
watershed, 112. 

Side, SiSa, a countryside in 
south-eastern Iceland, 22. 

Side-mull, Si'^umiili, the 
westernmost but one of the 
homesteads of Whitewater- 
side, 231. 

SiGLUNESS, the outermost 
point of the peninsula- 
shaped promontory which 
forms the extreraest sea- 
board limit to Eyiafirth by 
the west, 251. 

Skagafiord, the broadest bay 
of northern Iceland, 185. 

Skagastrand, Skagastrond, 
the western seaboard of the 
peninsula which divides 
Hunabay from Skagafirth, 

Skalaholt, situate low down 
the tongue of land which is 
formed by the confluence of 
Bridgeriver, Bruara, from 
the westand the Whitewater, 
Hvita, from the east, within 

the countryside known as 
Bishop's Tongues, Biskups 
tungur, in southern Ice- 
land, the seat of a bishop 
from A.D. 1056-1797, 141, 

Skeid, undulating sand plains 
on the southern side of 
Templewick, stretching from 
Staffriver to the bottom of 
the wick, 117. 

Skor, the extreme south point 
of a range of precipices be- 
tween Bardstrand (east) and 
Redsand (west), on the 
northern side of Broad- 
firth, due north of Frodis- 
water across the bay, 139. 

Sk:raumuhlaups - river, 
Skraumuhlaupsa, now called 
"Skrauma," a goodly stream 
coming from the south, and 
running into the south- 
easternmost bend of the 
bottom of Hvammfirth, 11. 

Skridinsenni, see vol. i., 
index and map, 157. 

Sleylech, -brook, Sleggju- 
laekr, a homestead on the 
southern side of Thwart- 
water in the upper part of the 
countryside of Staffholts- 
tongues, 197, 238. 

Snowfellsness, Snjdfellsnes, 
and Snsefellsnes, the long 
ness dividing the two largest 
bays of Iceland, Faxebay, 
and Broadfirth, 7, 136, 147, 
148, 167. 

Sogn, a bay and landscape in 
Norway, now Sognefjord, 3. 


The Saga Library. 

Soli, the seat of Erling Skialg- 
son, situate west of Sta- 
vanger, on the isthmus that 
separates the bottom of 
Hafrsfirth from the main, 22. 

South - Hordaland, Sunn- 
horSaland, part of the pre- 
sent Sondre Bergenhusamt, 
Norway, 5. 

South Isles, Su^reyjar, the 
Hebrides, viking quarters 
in the ninth century, 3, 4, 
10; harried by Earl Sigurd 
Lodverson of Orkney, 71, 

Spaewife's-fell, Spakonufell, 
midway north the so-called 
Skagastrand, the eastern 
littoral of Hunabay, 184. 

Staffholts - TONGUE, see 
vol. i., index, 143. 

Staffriver, Stafa, a small 
river, coming from the south 
into Templewick, forming 
the western boundary of 
Thorolf Mostbeard's land- 
take, 8 ; and the eastern of 
that of Biorn the Easterner, 


Stath, Sta^r, now " Stadt- 
land," a promontory on the 
western coast of Norway, 
south of Thrandheim, 5. 

Stead, Sta^r, now ReynistaSr, 
Rowanstead, the seat of 
Thord Hesthofdi, in Skaga- 
firth, 250. 

Stead- KNOLL, Sta^arholl, the 
seat of Sturla Thiodrekson, 
situate in the broadish valley 
of Saurby, 158. 

Stika, a now unknown topo- 
graphical point, which must 
have been on the southern 
side of Bitter, some distance 
up from Gudlaug's-head, 
since between it and that 
head lay the drift-foreshores 
of several owners, 158. 

Strand, see Midfell-strand. 

Strands, see vol. i., index, 

Streamfirth, StraumfjorSr, 
a shallow bay cutting into 
the southern shore of the 
Snowfell peninsula near to 
its eastern limit, loi, 157, 
179, 184. 

SuNHOME, Solheimar, the in- 
nermost or uppermost home- 
stead in Laxwaterdale, 184, 

Svelgriver, Svelgsa, uncer- 
tain whether the name refers 
to the river itself, which runs 
into Swanfirth little north 
of Thorsriver, or to the 
homestead of the same 
name, which stands on the 
northern bank of it; in 
either case the topography 
is here, as elsewhere, per- 
fectly correct, 93. 

Swallowriver, see Svelg- 

Swallow- or rather Svelg- 
river-dale, Svelgsardalr, a 
valley formed by Drapalithe 
mountain on its western, and 
Copsefell, Hrisafell, on its 
eastern side, through which 
Svelgriver runs into Swan- 
firth, 117. 

Index II. 


SwANFiRTH, Alptafjor^r — 

1. An inlet from Broad- 
firth, which cuts south into 
the land, bounded byThors- 
ness and Ulfarsfell in the 
west and Erefell in the east, 
50, 98, 112, 118. 

2. The countryside, 97, 
112, 116. 

3. A homestead up from 
the bottom of the firth, the 
abode of Fingeir and his 
descendants, 11, 13, 20, 22, 
54, 85 (cf Karstead), 104, 
115, 122, 123, 126, 131, 

153. 179- 
SwiNEiSLE, Sviney, an island 

of Broadfirth, a short dis- 
tance to the south-west of 
Daymeal-ness, now called 
Porkisle, Purkey, 54. 

1. SwiNEWATER, Svinavatn, a 
small lake, now called 
Hornsvatn, close to the 
present homestead of 
Hraunsfjor^r, which is 
situate a short distance to 
the south-east from the 
bottom of Coalpitfirth (K. i. 
431). In Snorri's days it 
would seem as if Swinewater 
was a name given to the 
house itself as well as to the 
lake, 51. 

2. Swinewater — 

1. A lake on the eastern 
confines of Blizzard-mere, 
south of Blanda, 200, 

2. A homestead on the 
north-eastern shore of the 

same, the seat of Summer- 
lid, 201. 
SwoRDFiRTH, Vigrafjor^r, a 
small shallow creek which 
from east cuts into the land 
and forms the south-east 
boundary of Thorsness, 9, 
124, 127. 

Templegarth, Hofgar^ar, 
now a waste place within 
the commune called Sta^- 
arsveit on the northern 
shore of Faxebay, the seat 
of Helgi the Priest and 
his descendants, 29, no, 

Templestead, Hofsta'Sir, the 
house set up by Thorolf 
Mostbeard on the northern 
side of Templewick, after 
his landing in Iceland, 8, 14. 

Templewick, Hofsvagr, now 
" Hofsvogr," a small creek 
which cuts into the western 
side of Thorsness, 8. 

Templestead-wick, Hofsta- 
Savagr, id., 124. 

Ternmere, jjernumyri, in 
Westhope, the home of the 
two brothers, Thorod and 
Thorgisl, 202. 

Thambardale, Jjambdrdalr, 
the home of Alf the Little, 
situate in a valley of the 
same name on the southern 
side of Bitter, 157, 161, 162, 

Thing- ere, jiingeyrar, pi., a 
homestead about midway 


The Saga Library. 

between Hope and Huna- 
water, 199. 

Thinghall-ness, ]5ingskala- 
nes, the ness that by the 
south divides Swordfirth 
from Swanfirth, 123, 124. 

Thingness, fingnes, a home- 
stead on the southern side 
of the lower Whitewater, 
situate in the midst of the 
tongue of land or ness 
formed by that river and its 
southern confluent Grims- 
river, 234. 

Thiotta, jjjotta, now Thjoto, 
an island off Halogaland in 
Norway, 257. 

Thorbeinstead, J)orbeinis- 
sta^ir, the seat of Thorbein, 
Thorolf Halt-foot's son-in- 
law (" now waste ; it stood 
on the southern side of the 
lake in Waterdale" — "a 
little scoop in the mountain 
spurs bounded by the north 
by a hillrise called Hallfell, 
Skdlafell," K. i. 434—" be- 
neath the northern side of 
Drapalithe fell," Th. 295), 

Thorolf's-howe, on Halt- 
foot's-head, 172. 

Thorsness, ))6rsnes, a small 
peninsula bounded by Tem- 
plewick S.S.W., Broadfirth 
N., and Swordfirth E.S.E., 
see map, 8, 9, 14, 15, 17, 
Thors-river, Jjorsa, a small 
river running from the south 
and mouthing out into the 

sea on the western shore of 
Swanfirth ; it formed the 
boundary between the land- 
takes of Thorolf Mostbeard 
and Geirrod of Ere, 8, 11. 

Thorsriver-dale, the valley 
formed by Thorsriver, 13, 
83, 88, 90, 91. 

Thorswater, see Thors- 

Thorsv/aterdale, see Thor^ 

Thorwardstead, J)orvart5s- 
sta'Sir, the house of Thor- 
finna the Skaldwoman, 
situate north-east of Gils- 
bank, 232. 

Thrall-scree, frselaskri^a, 


Thrandheim, orThrondheim, 

frandheimr, mod. "Thrond- 
hjem " — 

1 . The bay of that name 
in Norway, with its outer 
mouth, Thrandheim-mouth, 

55. 255. 

2. The province so called, 
containing eight folk, 5, 265. 

Thrandstead, frandarsta^ir, 
the last home, apparently, 
of Thrand the Strider, the 
ruins of which are still 
pointed out to the west of 
Ingiald's-knoU, 171. 

Throndheim, see Thrand- 

Thuvaston (?), an alleged 
place of England, 195. 

Thwartwater, ])verd, a home- 
stead some distance up 
from the bottom of Eyia- 

Index II. 



firth, generally known as 
Munka]3vera, 209. 

Thwartwater-hthe, Jjver- 
arhli^, the northern slope 
of the valley formed by 
Thwartwater, a northern 
tributary to Whitewater, 

Tongue, Tunga, now called 
** Snartartunga," situate a 
short way inland from the 
bottom of Bitter, 158, 161, 
165, 168. 

Tongue in Saelingsdale, see 

Tongue, now known as "Gal- 
tardalstunga," a homestead 
on Midfellstrand, 25. 

Trollsneck, Trdllahals, a 
mountain neck running 
round the bottom of Lava- 
firth, 51. 

Two-days' Heath, Tvidsegra, 
the upper mountain plateau 
forming the watershed be- 
tween Kiarra, or upper 
Thwartwater in Burgfirth, 
and the water-system of 
Midfirth in the North- 
country, 219, 220, 221, 225. 

Ulfar's-fell — 

1. An isolated mountain 
on the western side of 
upper Swanfirth, 11, 51, 84, 


2. A homestead "beneath 

the spurs of the mountain, 
a short distance up from the 
bottom of Swanfirth " (Th. 

293), 13, 76, 79, 83, 91. 97. 

UlFAR.'s - FELL - NECK, the 

northern spur of Ulfar's- 
fell dividing Thorswaterdale 
from Swanfirth, 83, 91, 117, 

Under - the - Lava, Undir 
Hrauni, the seat of Slaying 
Stir, situate on the eastern 
skirts of the Bareserks' Lava, 
eastof Bearhaven,3 1,70, 1 35. 

Under-the-Lava, the home 
of Cunning-Gils, according 
to Kilund, in all probability 
the present farm of "Hraun- 
lond," situate south of Cnear, 
in eastern Broadwick, on 
the southern side of the 
Snowfell peninsula, 32. 

Vadilshead, Va^ilshof ^i, " a 
high headland on the 
western side of the bottom 
of Swanfirth, so called still 
to this day " (Th. 293), 20, 
79, 91, lOI. 

Valbiorn's- vales, Valbjarnar 
vellir, a still existing home- 
stead on the upper reaches 
of Steamriver in the western 
watershed of Burgfirth, 142. 

Vineland the Good, Vfnland 
itgoSa, North America, 135. 

Walls, Veggir, short, for Side- 
mull-walls, Si^umiilaveggir, 
the homestead of Thorbiorn 
Brunison, situate in White- 
waterside a little to the 


The Saga Library. 

west of SidemuU, on the 
northern side of the Water, 
223, 238. 

Water, Vatn, a small lake in 
lower Waterdale, slightly to 
the north-east of the spurs 
of Asmund's-nip, 201. 

Waterdale, Vatnsdalr, a 
valley in the North-country 
stretching in a south-easterly 
line up from Hunafirth, 
with Willowdale to the west, 
and Longdale, part of Blan- 
da's watershed, to the north, 
196, 257. 

WATERFiRTH(seevol.i., index), 
the homestead, at the top of 
the bay of the same name 
on the southern shore of the 
innermost part of Icefirth 
Deep, next to the topmost 
inlet from it on the same 
side, Icefirth, the home of 
Vermund the Slender, 153. 

Waterneck, Vatnshals, " east 
from Drapalith." " East of 
this homestead, on the 
northern spur of the moun- 
tain (/. e., Drapalith-fell), 
there is a small dale-shaped 
depression called Waterdale, 
. . . this clearly is the de- 
pression connected with 
which, in the Ere-dwellers' 
story, is the hillrise range 
called Waterneck" (K), 13. 

Waterneck-head, Vatnshals- 
hof^i, 117. 

Waterness, Vatnsnes, see 
vol. i., index and map, 165. 

Westfirths, Vestfir^ir, syno- 

nymous with the Western 
Quarter of Iceland, 18. 

Westhope, Vestrhop, the 
countryside round West- 
hope-water, to the west of 
lower Willowdale, 202. 

Westhope-water, Vestrhops- 
vatn, an oblong lake of con- 
siderable size, west of lower 
Willowdale, from which it 
is divided by the basaltic 
hill-rises in connection with 
the so-called Burgwork, 

Whalefirth, UrthvalafjorSr, 
an inlet cutting south into 
the land from Broadfirth, 
on the eastern side of On- 
ward-ere, and terminating 
in forked waters, the western 
fork being called Coalpit- 
firth, the eastern Lavafirth 
(cf. K. i. 429). Hence 
the reading "east away" 
we have changed to "west 
away," 11. 

Whitewater, see vol. i., in- 
dex, 143, 153. 

Whitewater-meads, Hvitar- 
vellir, a house and market- 
place on the southern bank 
of Whitewater, near the 
mouth of it, 208, 231, 234. 

Whitewaterside, Hvitarsi'Sa, 
the countryside formed of 
the slope of the mountain 
called Sidefell, " Si^ufjall," 
which from Gilsbank to 
Side-mull runs parallel to 
Whitewater from east to 
west, 227. 

Index III. 


Wick, Vikin, the southern 
coastland of Norway, along 
Skagerrack and Christiania- 
firth, 5, 103. 

WiLLOWDALE, Vi^idalr, the 
westernmost valley that 
sheds waters from the south 
into Hunabay, 194, 201, 


dalsa, the main river of 
Willowdale, falling into the 
Hope, 214. 

WooDSTRAND, Skogarstrond, 
the southern littoral of 
Hvammfirth, east of Swan- 
firth, 15. 

Wrackfirth, JjaralatrsfjorSr, 
the next northernmost bay 
on the Strands, 164. 


Ale drinking, ol-teiti, 95. 

Althing, see Thing. 

Altar, altari, 8. 

Ark, ork, a big chest, 137. 

Arvale, erfi, burial feast, 148. 

Ash-heap, osku-haugr, 46, 47. 

Atone, atonement, manngiold 
baeta, baetr, febaetr, 17, 49, 
75, 80, 84 ; atonement of- 
fered in mockery, 192 ; 
craved in vain at three suc- 
cessive Althings, 194-196, 

Attack on a man in his house, 

Award, ger^, arbitration in a 
friendly way, with consent 
of both parties ; by a. were 
settled : the religious feud 
between the Thorsnessings 
and Kiallekings, 16, 17 ; 
the blood-suits for Vigfus 
of Drapalithe, 65 ; the sons 
of Thorir Wooden -leg, 75 ; 
II. C 

the thralls of Halt-foot, 81, 
82 ; the insult done to 
Thord Wall-eye at Thorsness 
Thing, 109; the suit for the 
slain in the fights at Swan- 
firth and Swordfirth, 130, 
131 ; the fight at Thorsness 
Thing between Thorstein of 
Hafsfirthisle and Snorri, 
156 ; the Heath-slayings, 
Axe, ox, see Tools, Weapons. 

Bait, seja, p. a^a, pp. att, Lat. 
aquari, to rest horses, 223. 

Bale-fire, bal, whereon a reve- 
nant is burnt, 172. 

Ball-play, knattleikr, see Games 
and plays. 

Banishment, gjora litlaga, 
Biornthe Easterner's punish- 
ment, 5 ; Thorolf Most- 
beard's for harbouringBiorn, 


The Saga Library. 

6 ; b. for three years, under 
Icelandic law, a full out- 
lawry, 65, 75, loi, 250. 

Baptism, see Sprinkling with 

Bareserks, berserkir, charac- 
teristics of, 55, 56 ; too tur- 
bulent for most bonders to 
manage, 5 7 ; social outcasts, 

Bareserk fury, berserks-gangr, 


Bath, ba^stofa, 68. 

Bed, see 2. Hall. 

Belief in a mountain as a tribe's 
paradise after death, 9 ; cf 
270, 271. 

Bell-wether, forustu-geldingr, 
lit. herd-leader, 206. 

Betrothal, ra^, see Wooing. 

Blood, bl6^, shed in a hostile 
encounter on a hallowed 
spot, desecrates it, 17; life- 
blood, hol-blo^, arterial 
blood, supposed to taste 
differently to venous blood, 
128, 287. 

Blood-bowl, hlaut-bolli, xxxiii- 
xxxvii, 8. 

Blood-fines, baetr, 80 ; cf. 
Atonement, Mangild, Were- 

Blood-rain at Frodis-water, 
139, 140. 

Blood-rod, hlaut-teinn, xxxiv, 

Blood-suit, eftir-mdl, 81, pas- 

Boat, batr, serves as water 
reservoir for a stronghold, 
166; cf. Ship. 

Boat-stand, naust, 123, 124, 

Bonder, bondi, a free house- 
holder, franklin, 57. 

Bond-maid, ambatt, 80. 

Boose, bass, stall in a byre, 173. 

Boot, baetr, 82 ; cf. Atone. 

Booths, biiSir, temporary 
abodes at market stations 
and Things, 102, 109. 

Boundary-wall, haga-garSr, be- 
tween two estates, 68. 

Bridal, brii'^laup, Norwegian 
spelling for briiS-hlaup, 
bride-leap (a word that tells 
the history of primitive mar- 
riage = bride-capture), 244, 


Brush, hali = tail, in the say- 
ings : to drag the brush, 
draga eftir ser halann = to 
show fagged and faint, 205 ; 
to bear the brush cocked, 
bera halann bratt = to bear 
oneself briskly and bravely, 

Bulk, biilki, the cargo of a 
ship, tied down to prevent 
it shifting, 102. 

Burial in a howe, heygja ; of 
Biorn the Easterner at Burg- 
brook, 1 1 ; Thorolf Most- 
beard at Howness, 14; Vig- 
fus at Drapalithe, 62 ; Halt- 
foot, first in Thorswater- 
dale, 88, and then at Halt- 
foot's-head, 92 ; Arnkel at 
Vadils-head, loi; lyke- 
help, nabjargir, 88; laying 
out corpses, veita umbiinaS, 
bua um lik, 70, 100 ; any- 

Index III. 


one, summoned, was by law 
bound to go and help to 
bring "dead folks to burial," 
90 ; burial at church, 146. 

Burial-journey, lik-ferS, Thor- 
gunna's body carried to 
Skalaholt, some eighty miles 
distant from Frodis-water, 

Buttery, or pantry, biir, 143. 

Cairn, dys (dysja, to encairn, 
to heap stones over a dead 
body), a low kind of burial 
accorded to criminals, 
witches, all persons, in fact, 
branded with social infamy, 

Candlemas, kyndilmessa, 151. 

Cask, ker, with a lid, laced to 
the mast, with drink for all 
on board, 102. 

Casting a spear over one's 
enemies for good luck in 
fight, 120, 284-286. 

Cattle, maddened by ghosts, 
see Ghosts. 

Causeway stones, bnisteinar, 

Charcoal, burning of, kola- 
ger^, 60, 61. 

Chess, tafl, a chief with his 
sons sitting at, while house- 
carles are at work, 231. 

Chest, kista, for weapons, 197, 
199; coffin, 141 ; light and 
portable, svifti-kista, 137. 

Chief, chieftain, hofSingi, 
heraSshof^ingi, the secular 
title of a temple-priest, go^i, 

Chieftainship, hof^ingsskapr, 
secular prestige, 66. 

Children dedicated to a fa- 
vourite god, 12, 19, 265, 

Choir of a church, songhus i 
kirkjum, in likeness thereof 
was the innermost chamber 
of the temple of Thorsness 
and elsewhere, xxxi, xxxii, 8. 

Christian faith, kristni, kristni- 
bo^, brought to Iceland, 

135, 136- 

Churches, kirkjur, built by 
Snorri at Holy- Fell, Stir at 
"Under-the-Lava," Thorod 
Scat-catcher at Frodis-water, 
i35> 136; church-building 
much encouraged by priests 
promising to the patrons a 
"welcome place" in the 
kingdom of Heaven for as 
many people as their 
churches could hold stand- 
ing. 135-. 

Church - going, Thorgunna's 

daily habit, 138. 
Clemming, megri, 76. 
Clothes, klae^i, well wrought, 

22 ; coloured clothes, lit- 

klse^i, 47, 105, III, 211; 

Thorgunna's wardrobe, 136, 

137. Cf. Dress. 
Coffer, hirzla, for weapons, 

see Chest. 
Combing hair, kemba har, 

Cook, matsveinn, on board 

ship, 10 1. 
Cook-maid, matselja, 45. 
Copse, hrisrunnr, 105. 


The Saga Libj^ary. 

Corpse, lik, "swathed in linen, 

but not sown up," 142. 
Corpse-bearers, likmenn, 143- 

Court of law, ddmr, the first in 

Broadfirth set up at Thors- 

ness by Thorolf Mostbeard, 

9 ; broken up by force, 30, 

34. Cf. Thing. 

Court of forfeiture, ferans- 
ddmr, 163, 165. 

Cow, k^r, bewitched, 172-174. 

Dayraeal-tide, dagmal dags, 
9 o'clock a.m., 226. 

Deck, piljur, of a ten-oarer, 
removable, 124. 

Deer-hound, d)^r-hundr, a fox- 
hound, 112. 

Digging-tools, graf-tol, for the 
burial of the dead, 91. 

Dishes, tryglar, or trenchers, 
23; diskar, i.e. plates: "no 
dishes there were in those 
days," i.e. about 1020; a 
statement which shows that 
they were in Iceland already 
in the days of the writer of 
the saga, 212. 

Divorce : Bardi divorces his 
first wife on the ground of 
the miserliness of his father- 
in-law, 243, 244; his second, 
because she would rouse 
him from sleep by throwing 
at him first a pillow, and 
then a stone, 258. 

Doom, see Court-of-law. 

Doom - ring, dom - hringr, 
circular seat-arrangement for 
the judges at a Thing, 18. 

Door-doom, dura-ddmr, 34, 
275 ; held to expel ghosts 
from a haunted house, 150- 

Dowry, heiman-fylgja, 30, 244. 

Draught-oxen, eykr, 77. 

Dreams, draumar, 225, 226. 

Dress : belt, 118; cap, hooded, 
floka-hetta, of felt with horn 
sown into it round the neck, 
127 ; cape, kapa, black, 22, 
blue, 133 ; mantle, blue, 
skikkja bla, 47 ; cloak of 
scarlet, skarlats - skikkja, 
141 ; skin cloak, skinn- 
stakkr, a thrall's working 
attire, 100 ; hose-breeches, 
leista - braekr, 128; kirtle, 
earth -brown, mobrunn kyr- 
till, of magic workmanship, 
to withstand weapons, 33, 
36; red kirtle, rau^r kyrtill, 
118; sark, serkr, 217; shirt, 
skyrta, 223 ; shoe, skor, 15 ; 
shoe-ties, tasselled, skiifaSir 
jbvengir, 115; shoe-spikes, 
sko-broddar, 126. 

Drifts of the sea and drift- 
right, reki, 157. 

Drinking - horns, clank of, 
horna-skvol, 19. 

Earth-ban, jarS-bonn, 158, 289. 

Ell, oln, alin, standard of 
measure and value or cur- 
rency, 102, 283, 284. 

Erne, orn, of a weird sort 
seizes a deer - hound and 
flies with it towards Halt- 
foot's howe, 112. 

Erse, irska, supposed by Gud- 

Index III. 


leif to have been the lan- 
guage of the people among 
whom he found Biorn west 
beyond the main, 180. 

Faith, siSr, atriina^r, changing 
it, regarded as unmanly, 10. 

Fast, fasting, fasta, unknown 
in the earliest days of 
Christianity in Iceland, 146. 

Feasts, bo^ : autumn feast, 
haustbo^, in Hawkdale, and 
at Seastead, 20 ; at Ver- 
mund's, 58 ; at Arnkel's, 83 ; 
at Snorri's, 95, 96 ; Yule 
feast, jola-drykkja, atThorolf 
Halt- foot's, 79; at Snorri's, 
125; Yule ale, j61a-61, at 
Frodis-water, 1 48 ; summer 
feast at Frodis-water, 131, 

Fell-bothies, sel, dairy-huts up 
mountain, 219. 

Fetters, fjotrar, 115. 

Field of deed, vettfangr, a 
criminal taken red-handed 
on, out of the law, and might 
be slain then and there with 
impunity; but beyond it he 
was within the law, and 
might not be summarily exe- 
cuted : Snorri's interpreta- 
tion, 81. 

Field work, forverk, 76. 

Fighting: by Ketil Flatneb, 
west over the sea, 4 ; on 
the field of Thorsness Thing, 
15, 16 ; at Thorsness Thing 
between lUugi the Black 
and the Kiallekings, 30,31 ; 
at Mewlithe, 34, 35 ; at 

Combegarth, 35, both be- 
tween Thorarin the Swart 
and Thorbiorn of Frodis- 
water; at BigmuU between 
Biorn of Broadwick and 
Thorod Scat-catcher, 73, 74; 
at Swanfirth, 11 9- 12 2, at 
Swordfirth, 125-127, both 
between the Kre-dwellers 
and the Swanfirthers ; at 
Thorsness Thing between 
Thorstein of Hafsfirthisle 
and Snorri, 154, 155; m 
Bitter, between Uspak and 
his neighbours, 160; be- 
tween Uspak and Thorir of 
Tongue, 162 ; between 
Uspak and the aUied bands 
of Sturla Thiodrekson and 
Snorri, 168-170; on Two- 
days' Heath between Bardi's 
band and the Burgfirthers, 

Fire, sacred, Thorolf goes with 
fire over the whole of his 
land-lake from west to east, 
8, cf. vol. i., xliv. 

Fires, eldar, for warming 
houses : long - fires, lang- 
eldar, on an oblong hearth 
along the middle of the floor 
of the hall, 149; meal-fires, 
maleldar, fires lighted for 
cooking, 61, 113, 145, 147, 
149, 151; the little fire, hinn 
litli eldr, lit in a chamber 
for a shift, 149. 

Fire-hall, elda-skali, eldhds, 
88, 145, 147, 149, 151. 

Fish, stock-fish, skreiS, kept 
in store at a fishing station. 


The Saga Library. 

and fetched at need, 147, 

148, 173; stored in a but- 
tery adjoining the hall, 145, 
146, 149, 150. Hence — 

Fish - heap, stockfish - heap, 
skrei^ar-hlaSi (145, 146), 

149, 150. 

Fishing, fiskiroSr, not beneath 
a go'Si to engage in ; yet his 
nickname, " Codbiter," takes 
off contemporary opinion on 
the subject, 18, 19. 

Flinger, Fleygir, name of a shy 
bell-wether, 206. 

Flows, bogs, keldur, 142. 

Follower, fylgdar-maSr, a per- 
sonal attendant on a chief, 
92, 96. 

Following, fylgdar-menn, coll., 
the personal attendants, 98. 

Food, meat, matr, more easily 
obtained in the land-settHng 
period than afterwards, 9 ; 
crossed, /.«?., the sign of the 
cross made over it, when a 
ghost has had to do with it, 
144 ; kinds of food and food- 
stuffs mentioned : cheese, 
ostr, 129, 224, 225; curds, 
skyr, 129; grout, grautr, 
103 (" good enough for 
Gisli's bane," a still current 
proverb), 23 ; fish, q. v., 
mutton, beef, cf. 205-207, 
212, 216; whale-flesh, 158- 

Forecastle, jjiljur frammi, 102. 

Foreshore, fjara, drift -right 
property, 158. 

Foster-brothers, fost-braeSr, 20, 
21, 200, 203. 

Fosterer, foster-father, fostri, 

Fostering, fostr, of a chieftain's 
child away from home, 20. 

Fosterling, fiSstri, — more such 
named in the Heath-slay- 
ings' than any other Iceland 
saga : Guest, son of Thor- 
hall, Olaf and Day, KoUgris, 
Thord Fox, 202, Arngrim 
of Audolfstead, 204, Thor- 
hot, Yeller's fosterling, 201. 

Foster-mother, fostra, 207, 256. 

Fowls, fuglar, settling on 
Thorolf's howe, fell down 
dead, 89. 

Freedman, leysingi, 13, 79; 
his propertyat death claimed 
by the giver of his freedom, 
83, 85, cf. 281. 

Frith-place, friSsta^r, sanc- 
tuary, the apse of the heathen 
temple, 8 ; cf Temple. 

Gag, kefla, mode of weaning 
lambs, 129. 

Gallows, galgi, 48. 

Games and plays, leikar, held 
turn and turn about between 
neighbours, 79 ; turf-play, 
torf-leikr, 109 ; ball-play, 
knattleikr, 112-114; play- 
halls, leikskalar, built for 
the accommodation of the 
sporting company, 112. 

Garth, gar^r, the wall round 
the home-field or home- 
mead, tungar^r, 45, %2)^ 84, 
96, 228, 229 ; hence the 
home-stead itself, 225 ; 
specially the wall round a 

Index III. 


yard where haystacks are 
ricked, hey-garSr, 35, 99, 
100, as well as the yard it- 
self, rick-yard, stakk-garSr, 
77, 98, lOI. 
Ghosts : revel inside Holy-Fell, 
all illuminated by fires, 19; 
walk more freely when the 
sun gets low, 89 ; madden, 
aera, cattle, 89, 91 ; cause 
cattle to be troll-ridden, 
troll-riSa, 89 — this is a dis- 
ease of the lower spine, 
affecting the hind quarters 
with partial palsy, and in 
sheep, more particularly in 
lambs, is called skjogr ; 
those killed by ghosts walk 
in their company, 90, 146 ; 
fear those who were their 
match in life, 90 ; while the 
ghost walks the dead body 
does not rot, 91, 172; Thor- 
gunna steps out of her own 
coffin to wait upon the 
bearers of her corpse, and 
then goes back into it of her 
own accord, 143 ; when 
drowned people walk they 
have been well received by 
Ran, q.v., 148; wet ghosts 
from the sea, and " be- 
moulded " ones from the 
grave, return to the warmth 
of the fire-hall, 148, 149; 
Stir assaults in death a 
bonder's daughter, 153 • 
Thorolf, in his second walk- 
ing, spares neither man nor 
beast, 171 ; even fire is loth 
to take hold of him Avhen he 

is burnt at last, 172 ; in his 
very ashes he still lives on 
for evil, and ends his fiendish 
career in Glossy 's well, 172- 

Gifts, gjafir (see vol. i-, 222), 
refused for first help, 31 ; of 
two bareserks to Vermund, 
56-59; to honoured guests 
at parting, 83, 84, 96, 132 ; 
a foster-brother's gift, 251. 

Glossy, Glaesir, a witch-bull, 

Go'Si, cf. vol. i., xxviii-xxxi, 
222 ; his duties as temple 
priest or supreme pontiff de- 
scribed, xxxi-xxxiv, 8, 9 ; 
his secular authority en- 
forced at the point of the 
sword, 15, 16; is expected 
to enforce even-handed jus- 
tice, 80 ; and to lay ghosts, 

Gods' images arrayed round 
the altar in the holy place, 9. 

God's nails, regin-naglar, 
xxxi, 8. 

Guardian of afreedman's pro- 
perty and person, varn- 
aSarma^r, 79. 

Guilt-fines, sektar fe, 52. 

Hallowed water, holy water, 
vigt vatn, haunted houses 
purified by, 144, 151. 

Hallowing, helgi, of a Thing, 

Handmaid, gri^kona, 74, 119. 

Handsel, handsal, -a, hand- 
selja, cf. vol. i., index, of self- 
doom, 23, 75 ; of a bargain, 


The Saga Libyary. 

24, 25; of truce, 16, 31, 34; 
of one's goods and property 
to a patron, 79, 81, 85, 86 ; 
of transference of goods and 
lands to another for a 
limited time, 250, cf. 254. 

Hanging, punishment of a 
dastard, 48 ; of thralls for 
attempted arson, 79. 

Haymaking, hay-work, field- 
work, hey-verk, tun-annir, 
132, 205 ; bear out scythe, 
bera lit Ija = begin to mow, 
76 ; mowing, sla, slattr, in 
homefields, 76, 77, 132, 
139; in out-meadows, 76, 
218, 220, 223, 226, 228; 
spreading h., jjurka, 139; 
ridging, rifja, 139 ; raking 
'iP) 139 ; hay-cocks, sdta, 
storsseti, 177, 206; carrying 
home, carting, aka, ekja, 
139, 206 ; ricking, hla^a, 
139; hay-rick, "hey," 99. 

He-goat, hafr, Katla's son 
turned into, by magic, 46. 

Hersir, 3, 12, 263. 

High-seat, ondvegi, hasseti, 7, 
19, 88, 116, cf. 268-270. 

Hlaut, that kind of blood 
which flowed when those 
beasts were smitten which 
were sacrificed to the gods, 
xxxiii-xxxiv, 8, 9. 

Holmgang, holmganga, single 
combat, 13. 

Holy place, af hus, the walled- 
off apse-formed part of a 
temple within which were 
the idols, the stall, the 
blood-bowl, the blood-rod, 

and the sacred ring, xxxi- 
xxxii, 9. 

Holy water, see Hallowed 

Home-field, home-mead, tiin, 
toSur, the enclosed, ma- 
nured, and cultivated plot of 
ground surrounding a home- 
stead, 35, 77, 118,119,138, 
139, 209-210. 

Home - men, heima - menn, 
men-servants, 33, 88, 118, 
128, 143, 148, 149, 201, 

Home-pastures, [heima-] hag- 
ar, opposite to mountain 
pastures, afrettr, 206. 

Home-woman, heima-kona = 
handmaid, 147. 

Hood, h^^inn, prop, goat- 
skin, cast a hood over 
one's head = to hoodwink, 

Horn, horn, sown into a 

hooded cap round the neck, 
a sort of defensive armour, 
Horse, hestr, geldings, 209 ; 
stud-horses kept on moun- 
tain pastures, 32 ; fighting 
horse, vighestr, 32 ; pet 
horses all white except for 
black ears, 196, 208, 220, 
223 ; horses slaughtered for 
meat, 32; used for carting 
hay, 206 ; horse gear : 
saddle, so^ull, fair stained, 
22; trough- saddle, ancient, 
trogso^ull, 22 ; woman's 
saddle, 214, 215; saddle 
girths, gjar^ir, ib. 

Index III. 


Hospitality : Geirrid builds her 
a hall across the highway, 
and keeps open house to all 
comers, 13; an honoured 
guest is shown to the high- 
seat, 23, 39 ; guests are di- 
vested of wet clothes, and 
given dry ones, 168; man 
and wife join in preparing 
meat for guests, 222 ; Gud- 
mund maintains freely Bardi 
and his shipwrecked fellow- 
outlaws for a winter, 252- 
254, cf Feasts. 

Hours, ti^ir, horse, sung a.d. 
1 00 1 at Frodis-water, 152. 

House: i. Hall, skali, built 
across the highway, Geirrid's 
open house, 13. 

2. Hall, fire-hall, skali, 
eldaskali, eldhiis ; Halt- 
foot's at Hvamm, 88, 89 ; 
Thorod's, at Frodis-water, 
145, 147-149. In this hall 
burnt the meal-fires = was 
cooking done, and at these 
fires people sat until they 
went to meals in another, 
the dining, apartment, stofa. 
The fire-hall was the com- 
mon sleeping apartment in 
Icelandic homesteads. Here 
were the lockbeds, lokrekk- 
jur, 59-60, 145, and beds, 
riim, 146. This had two 
alcoves or butteries, klefar, 
towards the main entrance, 
one filled with stock-fish, 
the other with cereals, 145 ; 
with a tie-beam, Jjvertre, 
above, 146 ; the opening of 

the stockfish buttery must 
be reached by a ladder, 
stigi, 146; the walls of this 
hall had panelling, vegg]?ili, 
145. Here, at the inner 
end, was Thorgunna's bed, 
rekkja, 137-142, appointed 
as follows : bedclothes, 
rekkju-kl^Si, 137; — cur- 
tains, rekkju-refill, 137; — 
gear, arsalr, 137, 142, 151 ; 
rekkju-klse^i, -buna^r, 141, 
142 ; — hangings, rekkju- 
tjald, 141 ; — sheets, Eng- 
lish, enskar blaejur, 137, 
142 ; bolster, dj^na, 142 \ 
mattress, perhaps better pil- 
low, hgegindi, 142, cf. small 
pillow, haegindi litit, 258 ; 
silken quilt, silki kult, 137, 

3. Hall, sitting-hall, skali, 
setaskali, banqueting hall, 
double - doored, through 
which one could pass into 
the fire-hall, 148. Possibly 
the same as — 

4. Hall, stove, chamber, 
stofa, the family sanctum, 
expressly named only at 
Holt, 45-47; at Combe, 74; 
at Karstead, 118, 119, 174, 
175; at Netherness, 143, 
144; at Thambardale, 161; 
not named, though cer- 
tainly understood, at Bear- 
haven, 39 ; at Holy-Fell, 
1 1 6 ; at Asbiorn's-ness, 212; 
at Walls, 224, 225 ; at Mad- 
dervales, 252. Of fittings, 
furniture, appointments, &c. , 


The Saga Library. 

are mentioned : dais, pallr, 
45 ; hollow inside and 
capable of concealing a full- 
grown person, with a lid, 
hlemmr, to the opening, 
47; benches, bekkir, 118; 
lower bench, annarr bekkr, 
252 ; door, dyrr, 45 ; floor, 
golf, 40, 118; gable wall, 
gaflhla^, 225 ; high-seat, 
ondvegi, ondugi, 7, 23, 39 ; 
high-seat pillars, ondvegis- 
sulur, 7, 8, 267-270 ; seat, 
sitting-place, riim, 45 ; seat, 
bolster, hsegindi, 47 ; settle, 
setstokkr, 54; table, board, 
trencher, 13, 23, 129, 167, 
205, 212, 213, 225. 

Approach to these halls 
led in through the outer 
door, liti dyrr, 33, 46, 118, 
119, which was closed with 
a door, utihurS, 94, made 
of boards secured to door- 
ledges, hurSarokar, 95, 
moving in a groove, a klofa, 
119, 284; next inside was 
the doorway, dyrr, liti-dyrr, 
61, 119, communicating 
with the porch, ond, 46 ; 
over the doorway and, ap- 
parently, the porch also, 
was the " loft over the outer 
door," loft yfir litidyrum, 61, 
with floor of removable 
boarding, 61. From these 
halls led sometimes a secret 
door or passage, laundyrr, 

5. Hall, play -hall, leik- 
skdli, a sort of sporting lodge. 

1 1 2-1 1 5 ; with porch, forhiis, 
115, chairs, stools, stdll, 113, 
messward arrangements, fire, 
&c., 114. 

6. Bath, ba^stofa (excep- 
tional and for a special pur- 
pose), 68, 69, with a fore- 
chamber, forstofa, 69, closed 
by a trap-door, hlemmr, 69, 
70 ; heated by a furnace, 
ofn, 68, fed through a win- 
dow or opening, gluggr, 68, 

7. Meat-bower, buttery, 
or pantry, bur, 45, 143. 

8. Stithy, smiSja, 224, 
226, 229. 

9. Byre, fjds, 173. 

10. Privy, "in those days 
outside the houses," 61. 

House-boar, tiingoltr, 47. 

House-carle, huskarl, farm- 
labourer, 34-36, 62, 74, 146, 
147, 213-215, 229, 231; 
cf Workman. 

Howe, cf. cairn, a heathen's 
tomb, II, 14, 62, 89, 91, 92, 
loi, 112, 172. 

Husbandman, a weatherwise, 
76, 77- 

Ice from the main, hafis, pack- 
ice driven on the land by 
northern gale, 158. 

Iceland-faring, Islandsfer^, 
undertaken at Thor's bid- 
ding, 7. 

Illugi's lay, Illugadrapa, see 

Jointure, mundr, 30, 244. 

Index III. 


Journeying abroad, the fashion 
of well-born youths, 21, 22. 

Jury of twelve, tylftar kvi^r, 
verdict, finding of, 29, 274. 

Kindred, dependants, skulda- 
liS, taken on board ship 
when the head of the family 
emigrates to Iceland, 7. 

Land-take, land-settling, land- 
nam ; the master of the emi- 
grant ship takes the land he 
thinks he requires, and gives 
thereof to his companions 
what pleases him, 8, 1 1 ; or 
gives part thereof to later 
comers, 13 ; or sells to later 
comers portions of it, 13. 

Lather, lau'Sr, lo^r, 209. 

Law, as to the duty of neigh- 
bours to bury the dead, 90 ; 
as to who should be plain- 
tiffs to blood-suits, loi. 

Law-seers, logsjaendr, 34, 274. 

Law-suits : Thorsnessings v. 
Kiallekings, 16-18; Thor- 
biorn v. Geirrid of Mew- 
lithe, 29, 30 ; Illugi V. Tin- 
forni, 30, 31 ; Snorri v. 
Arnkel, 50-52, 8r, 93; v. 
Biorn Broadwicker's Cham- 
pion, 74, 75; V. Thorstein 
Gislison, 154; v. Uspak of 
Bitter, 163, 164. 

Laziness, tomlaeti, a common 
reproach to Icelanders by 
Norwegians, 103. 

Lever-beam, brot, 172. 

Load-ropes, reip, ropes, used 

for tying up horse-loads, 

Man-gild,manngj61d,cf Atone. 

Man-mote, mannfundir, man- 
na-m6t, public gatherings, 
8, 104, 199, 203, 204. 

r. Mark, mark, the variously- 
formed and combined exci- 
sions from the ears of sheep, 
whereby the owner may 
recognize them, 53. 

2. Mark, mork = eight ounces 
of silver; three marks of 
silver offered in bribe to 
commit murder, 83-84. 

Market, kaupstefna, 208, 220, 

Meal, mjol, 145 ; see Food. 

Meals, mal, evening meal, 15; 
breakfast, dagverSr, dog- 
urSr, 212, 224. 

Meal-fires, maleldar, fire at 
which cooking was done in 
the fire-hall, 61, 145, 147- 
149, 151. 

Meat, see Food. 

Mess-ward, bu^ar-vor^r, loi, 
102, 114, 283. 

Mess-kettle, bii'Sar-ketill, 103. 

Milking, mjaltir, by women 
on an open milking-stead, 
sto^ull, 172. 

Miser, ni^ingr, unfit to be a 
good and true man's father- 
in-law, 244. 

Moon of Weird, UrSar-mani, 
145, 289. 

Mortice, fjotrar-rauf, in a 
sledge-runner, 99 ; vaga- 
borur, in a hay-cart, 133. 


The Saga Library. 

Mould, sacred, see Temple. 

Names of persons derived from 

that of a favourite god, 6 ; 

see Children dedicated to a 

favourite god. 
Neat, naut, dapple-grey, Tho- 

rolf's ghost, 173; the sire 

of the bull Glossy, q. v. 
Neat's-hide, nautshuS, raw and 

slimy, spread for a bare- 

serk's trap, 69, 70. 
Neat's winter-fodder, nauts- 

fo^r, 139, 288. 
Night-meal, nattmal, the time 

of 9 p.m., 172, 294. 
Nones of the day, eykt dags, 

3 o'clock p.m., 223, 294. 

Oath, ei^r, taken on the sacred 
ring, xxxii, xxxiii, 8, 29, 30. 

Onslaught, frumhiaup, first 
attack, in law the gravest 
fact in all cases concerning 
breach of the peace, 17, 53, 

93. 203. 

Out-country, out-parish men, 
utan-hera^s menn, hailing 
from parts beyond the juris- 
diction of a go^i, 33, 94. 

Oxen, yxn, seven slaughtered 
down at once for one house- 
hold, 78 ; used for drawing 
sledges, 88-89, 9i> 97- 

Pair of beads, steina-sorvi, 
-seyrvi, 217, 222, 236. 

Pairing men together, mann- 
jofnu^r, an invidious merri- 
ment, 95, 96, 282-283. 

Partnership in ships, 32. 

Pasture-ground for horses in 
upland wildernesses, 32, 52. 

Personal descriptions : ofArn- 
biorn, 104; Arnkel, 100; 
Asdis, daughter of Stir, 32, 
66 ; Biorn, Broadwickers' 
Champion, 104 ; Eyolf, son 
of Thorgisl Hewer, 239 ; 
Hun and Lambkar, 211 ; 
Odd, Katla's son, 27 ; Snorri 
the Priest, 22-26 ; Steinthor 
of Ere, 21 ; Stir, 21, 31, 
32 ; Thorarin the Swart, 27 ; 
Thorgunna, 138; Thorleif 
Kimbi, 22 ; Thorolf Most- 
beard, 6; Thrandthe Strider, 
167; Uspak, 157; Vermund, 

Pillow, see 2. Hall. 

Priests, prestar, Christian, 136, 
151 ; heathen, see Go^i. 

Priesthood, go^or^, of the 
Redmell folk, Rau'Smel- 
ingar, taken out of Thors- 
ness Thing, 157. 

Purse of money, sjo^r, 25, 49, 
82, 119. 

Quick-fire, kveyktr eldr, arson, 

Ran, Ran, the wife of ^gir 
and queen of the ocean, see 

Ransack, ransacking, ransokn, 
rannsaka, domiciliary search 
for stolen goods, n, 34 ; 
for a criminal, 44-47- 

Raven-lay, Raven's song, 
Hrafnsmal, see Skalds. 

Index III. 


Ride-by-nights (marli^endr), 
kveldriSa, 28, 29, 274. 

Ring, hringr, golden, be- 
queathed by Thorgunna to 
Skalaholt, 141; see Temple. 

Road, vegr, made by bareserks 
over an impassable lava, 68, 
69, 278-279. 

Robbery, ran, with violence, 
Uspak's, 159, 161, 164, 

Runagates, einhleypingar, va- 
gabonds, 201. 

Sacrifice, human, blot, mann- 
bldt, xxxiii, 18. 

Seafaring, warlike, 4 ; ventured 
upon in winter only along 
the coast of Norway, 5. 

Seal, selr, a weird apparition, 

Seal-skin bag, selbelgr, drawn 
over the head of a witch to 
make her sorcery powerless, 

Self-doom, sjalfdaemi, a sort of 

legal surrender at discretion 

by the offender, 23. 

Servants, serving-folk, hjon, 

thirty such at Frodis-water, 

Shearing hair, skera har, 46. 

Sheep, live stock, fe, biift!, 
kvikfe, sau^ir, 25, 26 ; tend- 
ing, 19 ; driving, 36 \ watch- 
ing of in winter, 97, 112; 
tending, embsetta, at morn- 
ing meal, milking the ewes, 
210; in hard winters driven 
into other country-sides for 
better pasture, 158. 

Sheep-fold, -folding, rett, fold- 
garth, rettar - gar^r, 52 ; 
byrgi,68; drawing out sheep, 
draga sauSi, to pick out 
every owner's sheep by the 
mark on their ears, 52. 

Sheep-gleaning, eftirleit, search 
after first ingathering, 113. 

Sheep-walks, afrettr, mountain 
pastures over which sheep 
roam at large in summer, 
53. 206. 

Ship, skip, kinds of: bark, 
skiita, 5 ; boat, batr, small, 
123 ; cock-boat with an 
ocean-going ship, 71, 72 ; 
ten-oarer, teinser-ingr, with 
removable deck, piljur, 123- 
127, 147; twelve-oarer, tolf- 
seringr, 159; boats holding 
sixteen men each, 118; long- 
ship, langskip, 6 ; merchant 
ship, kaupskip, 32, loi, 132, 
134, 136- 251; ocean-going, 
hafskip, 7 ; skiff, ferja, 54 ; 
ships are drawn ashore in 
winter, 255 ; life on board 
ship, 10 T, 102. Appoint- 
ments : bailing-butt, aust- 
skota, 246 ; cask, q.v. ; deck, 
q.v. ; mast, sigla, 102 ; oars, 
arar, 124, 246 ; thoft, j^opta, 
ib. ; thole-plank, ib. 

Ship-master, stjhrima^r, 10 1, 

Shipmates, skipverjar, receive 
tenements within the set- 
tler's land-take, 8. 

Shipwreck, skipbrot, 251 ; 
shipwrecked crew rescued, 
71, 72. 


The Saga Library. 

Shrive, skripta, 151. 
Siege of a work, 169. 
Silver, silfr, the ordinary me- 
tallic currency ; burnt, i.e., 
refined, brent, 71 ; fifty 
hundreds = 50x120 = 6000 
ells' worth thereof given to 
a chieftain's son for a year's 
travelling abroad, 21 ; one 
half of the estate of Holy- 
Fell (over-)valued at sixty 
hundreds, 24 ; twelve 

ounces of, a thrall's were- 
gild, 82, 119. 
Skalds : Biorn of Broadwick : 
(Thurid's lay), seven 
strophes, 73, 74, 105- 
Eric Wide-sight : (Heath- 
fight lay), seven verses, 
254, cf. p. 303. 
Halli the Bareserk : (As- 

dis' ditty), 69. 
Leiknir his fellow, like- 
wise, 69. 
Odd: lUugi's lay, 30-31, 
two strophes (fragm.). 
Stir : (Bareserks' dirge), 

70, one strophe. 
Thorarin the Swart : Mew- 
lithers' lay, 37-44, six- 
teen strophes + a ditty, 

Thorbiorn Brunison : 
(Death-lay), 224-226, 
four strophes. 

Thormod Trefilson : 

Raven-lay, -song, 62, 
100, 122 - 123, five 

Thorod of Karstead's 
foster-mother : (Foster- 
ling's gravesong), 176, 
two strophes. 
Thurid of Asbiorn's-ness : 
(Whetting), 213, one 

Skin-changers or shape- 
changers, men who from 
ordinary beings, in great 
emergencies, could become 
preternaturally strong, ham- 
ramir, 69, 167, 292. 

Sledge, sleSi, 88, 91, 97, 99. 

Smithy, smithying, smi^a, 
smi^, a blacksmith's craft, 
224, 226, 229; smi^ja, 232 
= stithy. 

Sorcery, cf. Katla, Gudlaug 
Thorbiornson, Cunning- 
Gils, Thorgrima Witchface, 
Geirrid of Mewlithe, in In- 
dex of Persons. 

Spinning yarn, 44-46. 

Spoon, spann, 23. 

Sprinkling with water, ausa 
vatni, heathen baptism, 19. 

Stall, stall-ring, see Temple. 

Stockfish, see Fish. 

Stone, steinn, emblem of sloth 
and uselessness, 212-213; 
stones heated for warming 
houses, 149. 

Stone of Thor, ))6rs steinn, 
over which men were broken 
who were sacrificed, 18. 

Stoning to death, berja grj6ti 
i hel, a witch's exeeution, 

Storm, hri^-vi^ri, wrought by 
magic, 106-108. 

Index III. 


Stroking a man over, ])reifa 
um, a wizard woman's way 
of ascertaining before a bat- 
tle a man's liability to be 
wounded; if no "big bumps" 
were felt no great danger of 
life was ahead, 217. 

Summoning days, stefnu-dagar 
(cf.vol. i., 187), 29,50, 130. 

Superstitions, cf. Belief. A 
dead evil person, likely to 
walk, should not be ap- 
proached from the front till 
lyke-help was given, i.e. his 
eyes and mouth were closed, 
88; he should be carried 
out through the wall which 
was at his back when he 
died, 88; drowned people, 
walking and appearing at 
their arvale, were well re- 
ceived by Ran, the goddess 
of the sea, 148 ; one witch 
about to be outdone by an- 
other feels " uncouth," 47 ; 
witches have the power of 
changing human beings into 
a spinning-wheel, a goat, a 
hog, cf. Katla, and to raise 
storms at will, cf. Thorgrima 
Witchface ; wizards are 
believed to know who is a 
thief, cf. Cunning-Gils. 

Tail, rdfa, " short-haired " and 
" seal-haired," mysterious 
and uncanny, 149, 150. 

Take of the sea, sjofang, easier 
to come by in the land- 
settling days than later, 9. 

Temple, hof, in the island of 
Most, 6; pulled down, tekit 
ofan, its timbers, vi^ir, 
shipped, the mould, mold, 
from under its stall, the stall 
itself undoubtedly, and 
Thor's image which stood 
on it, taken on board by 
Thorolf on going to Iceland, 
7 ; re-erected at Thorsness, 
8 ; — Icelandic temples, 
their fo rm, xxxi-xxxii ;*' orna- 
mentaetinstrumenta": stall, 
stallr, in the holy place, the 
apse, " hiifa," on it the stall- 
ring, stallahringr, the tem- 
ple-priest's badge of office, 
weighing twenty ounces, by 
which all men must swear, 
and the blood-bowl, hlaut- 
boUi, sometimes at least of 
copper, together with the 
blood-sprinkler, hlaut-teinn ; 
behind the stall : the images 
of the gods, Thor's, the 
national god's, in the middle, 
arranged, apparently, semi- 
circularly, xxxi-xxxiv, 8, 9 ; 
the nave was the public 
temple, entered by a door 
near to one end of it, con- 
sequently through one of 
the side walls ; inside : the 
high-seat pillars secured by 
the god's nails, regin naglar, 
xxxi-xxxiv, 8 ; temple toll, 
tollr, 9. 

Thing, cf. vol. i., Thorsness 
Thing, a spring thing (of 
course), 24 ; the sacredness 
of it, 9, 14-16; desecration 


The Saga Library. 

of, by human blood shed in 
anger, cause of its removal. 
17, 18; law cases at, cf. 
Award, Courts of law, 29, 30, 
50-52. 53> 54, 65, 74-75, 81- 
82, 93, 108-109, 130-131, 
154, 156, 163. — Quarter 
Thing, set up at Thorsness 
by Thord Yeller, vol. i., 
xxxiii, 18. — Althing, loi, 
154, 193. 196, 228.— Thing- 
man, ^ingma^r, a chiefs re- 
tainer, 9, 15, 157.— Thing- 
brent, ])ing-brekka, 155. 
Thor-worship, xxxi-xxxiii, 6-9. 
Thorgaut's loom = Thorgaut's 

sword, 229, 235-237. 
Thralls, slaves, jjrselar, mad 
with fear, 36, 37, 98, 275- 
277 ; hard-worked, 76, 77, 
97 ; freedom offered them 
as bribe to commit murder 
and arson, 60, 79, 113; 
thrall's were-gild, 82, 116- 
Title, heimildar-tak, to a hand- 
selled piece of land, 92. 
Tools and implements : 
Adze, talgu-ox, 95. 
Axe, ox, for cutting up 

whale-flesh, 159. 
Bowl, trygill, lit. small 

trough, 224. 
Chain-knife, see Whittle. 
Drawing - tongs, spenni- 

tong, 129. 
Hrifa, rake, 138, 140. 
Pike-staff, fjallstong, 52, 

Rock, spinning-wheel, 

rokkr, 45, 46. 

Scythe, 1^, Ijaorf, 76, 205. 
Sledge-hammer, jarn- 

dreps-sleggja, 147. 
Stirring-stick, ])vara, 103. 
Whetstone, br^ni, har'S- 

steinn, 222. 
Whittle, chain-knife, 

tygil-knifr, 217, 222, 

236; talgu-knifr, 133. 
Trading, kaupfer'S, to Dublin, 

71, 179- 

Truce, gri^, a handselled pre- 
liminary peace or suspension 
of hostilities, from the time 
the deed was committed till 
the party or parties in ques- 
tion reached their home, 
or else till legal settlement 
should have fallen, 16, 31, 
121, 122, 130, 155 ; secu- 
rity for life and limb, 34, 
134 ; truce speech or for- 
mulary in alliterative prose, 
gri^amal, 244-246 ; truce- 
breaker, gri^niSingr, 247. 

Tuns, verplar, portable vessels 
with drink on board ship, 

Unhallowed, dhelgr, of a sacred 
place, desecrated, 17; of 
persons, he who has forfeited 
the right to atonement, 17. 

Verdict of not guilty, bjarg- 

kviSr, 81, 280, 281. 
Viking, vikingr, a sea rover, 

13; a scoundrel, 164, 171, 


Index III. 


visions. The shepherd of 
Thorstein Codbiter sees him, 
before his death was known, 
feasting inside the illumi- 
nated Holy-Fell, 19; Egil 
the Strong sees an eagle 
seize his dog and fly with it 
to Halt-foots howe, 112 ; 
Weird's moon is seen at 
Frodis- water, 145 ; Thor- 
biorn Brunison sees in his 
meat but blood, 2 24 ; and a 
river of mould rushing 
through his ungabled house, 

Wadmal, vaSmal, native home- 



Wain, vogur, a sort of hay- 
cart, 133. 

Weapons, vapn, carried on 
the person on leaving the 
house, 15, 73, 92; cast on 
the floor during meals, 
23 ; to be fought by one's 
own weapons, the direst 
insult, 215, 216, 229, 235, 
237. — Weapons of attack: 
arrow, or, 129; axe, ox, 
96, 105, 133, 162, 163, 169; 
bill, atgeirr, 61 3 bear-bill, 
bjam-sviSa, 162, 163 ; bow, 
bogi, 125 ; spear, spjot, 22, 
93. 99, 119. 125, 126 j shot 
over and into the hostile 
ranks for good luck, 120, 
284 ; shaft, skaft, of, 99 ; 
twirl-spear, snerispjot, 170; 
sword, sver^, 22, 84, 99, 
109, 115, 118, 121, 127'; a 
soft, 120, 286; a good, 197 ; 
II. D 

grip of, me^al-kafli, 118; 
hilt of, hjalt, gaddhjalt, 23, 
118; ornamental strings of, 
listur, 119. — W. of defence : 
helm, hjalmr, 118; shield, 
skjoldr, 22, 84, 93, 99, 118, 
119, 126, 209; to shift 
shield = change sides, 120. 

Weaving, va^verk, 138. 

Weird, furSa, boding death, 

Weregild, manngjold, b»tr, see 

Whale, hvalr, a valuable drift, 

Will, the earliest Christian, on 
record in Iceland, Thor- 
gunna's of a.d, iooi, 141. 

Winter-guest, vetr-gestr, 255. 

Winter-nights, vetr-nsetr, 95, 
112, 164, 165, see vol. i., 

Witchcraft, galdr, a coveted 
lore, 27-29; its baneful 
effects, 29 ; a criminal 
art to pursue, 29 ; women 
skilled in witchcraft : Geirrid, 
Katla, Thorgrima, Thorod 
of Karstead's foster-mother, 

Wonders, undr, of Frodis- 
water, 139 foil.; of Swan- 
firth, see Ghosts ; of Walls, 
see Visions. 

Wood, skogr, vi^r, 81, 86, 87, 
92, 93 ; big wood in White- 
waterside, " such as in those 
days were wide about the 
land," 227; wood-cutting, 
skogarhogg, 86, 92 ; wood- 
horses, vi^ar-hestar, horses 



The Saga Library. 

carrying loads of dried 
"timber," 93. 

Wooing, ra^, a bareserk's 
scouted as being disgraceful 
to good families, 58, 66, 67 ; 
Thorleif Kimbi's refused be- 
cause he had been smitten 
and scalded by a hot stirring- 
stick, 108, 109. 

Word, frdtt, oracle, 7. 

Work, virki, a fort, fighting- 
stead, 158, 160, 164, 169. 

Workman, verka-ma^r, verk- 

ma^r, farm-labourer, 47, 76, 

Wounds, sar, bound up, 35 ; 

tended to and dressed, 129. 
Wright's work, verk-smi'S, 199. 

Yokeard, EykjarSr, name of a 
nag at Asbiorn's-ness, 213. 

Yule, jdl, 147, 166, 173; Yule- 
ale, Yule - drinking, see 
Feasts ; Yule-fast, jola-fasta, 
Advent, 146. 

Poetical Periphrasis. 

I. Proper names on which certain periphrases turn ; they are all found 
in the Icelandic equivalents where, in the translation, a noun appellative 
has been employed. 

Ali, a sea-king, 70,0. 

Ati, a sea-king, 225^. 

Auma, an island of Norway, 


Bil, a maiden robbed by the 
Moon, regarded as a 
goddess, 74„5. 

Draupnir, Odin's ring of gold, 
which produced eight 
rings, each as heavy as 
itself, every ninth night, 


Fenrir, a wolf, son of Loki 

and Angrbo^a, 10533. 
Fjolnir, one of" Odin's "names, 

2 53,z- 

Frodi, a sea-king, 40,3. 
Gautr, one of " Odin's" names, 

Ger^r, Frey's wife, "goddess" 

by affinity, 42,,, 69^, 

GioU, GjoU, a river of the 

nether world, next to 

Hell-gate, 40^,. 
Gunnr, a valkyrja, 106,5. 

Hell, queen of the nether 
world, 2245,. 

Hlin, a " goddess," guardian of 
Frigg's favourites among 
men, 41^, 69,8, 107,6. 

Hogni, a war-king of fame, 42,6. 

Hroptr, one of " Odin's " 
names, 41,. 

Index III. 


Hugin, Odin's news - raven, 

Leifi, a sea-king, 100,0. 

Modi, son of Thor, 373^. 
Morn, Morn, the river Marne of 

France, 1061. 
Munin, Odin's news - raven, 

Niord, Njor^r, pi. Nir^ir, a 
"god," 39,,, 62,3. 

Niorun, a "goddess," loy^^. 

Rakni, a sea-king, 4O30. 
Rin, the Rhine, 156.,. 

Sigg, an "island " of Norway, 

Ullr, one of the gods, 213,3. 

JjriSi, one of " Odin's " names, 

JjrdBr, a valkyrja, 40,5. 

II. Periphrasis Proper. 

Archer : Flinger abroad, &c., 
see Men specially al- 
luded to, Thorarin. 
Flinger of hail of the bow, 
alm-svells bo^i, 242^. 

Arm : Hand's reed down 
hanging, handar hnig- 
reyr, 39,,. 

Arrow : Flame of the sword- 
storm, furr frseninga- 
. graps, 51,. 
Hail of the bow, alm-svell, 

Spae-maids of the man-mote, 
where heavily roareth 
the thunder of war- 
choosers over the mead, 
spa-meyjar f>ings hins 
punga hjaldrs j^ru^ar- 
vangs, 4o,s.,6. 

Blood : Brook of Fenrir, 
brunnr Fenris, 10533. 
Brooks of the blood- (lit. 

Blood — co?itmued. 

wound-) wave, laekir 
ben-unnar, ^o^^.^^. 

Corpse-flood, hrae-flo^, 3733. 

GioU (waxing with the flood- 
tide) of weapons, GjoU 
vapns (ox), 40,2. 

Raven's wine, hrafn-vin. 

Sword-dew, hjor-dogg, 445. 
Tears of the wounds, ben- 

gratr, 176,6. 
Wound-wave, sara dynbara, 

Breast : Life's coffer (lit. heap), 

lifs kostr, 100,2. 

Coat of mail : Peace shrine of 
Hogni, ve Hogna, 42,6- 
Corpse : Corpse-goslings' vic- 
tual, na-gagla nest, 4i,j. 
Mouthful of Munin, tugga 

Munins, 42,,. 
Wolfs meat, ulfsvor^r, 123. 


The Saga Library. 

Corpse — continued. 

(What makes) Wolf merry, 
ylgs teiti, 41 4. 

Death : Apples of Hell-orchard, 
epli Heljar, 224,3. 

Fight : All's high wind, Ala el, 


Blast of the spear-storm, 
glygggeira-hreggs,2 33,. 

Fray of the fire of fight, rim- 
ma ognar gims, 253,,. 

Meeting of him who is 
wonted to seek out the 
haunts of the hanged 
for a gossip, mot hanga 
heim-J3ingaSar, 2265.6. 

Mote of the maidens of 
battle, mot joru-snota, 

Play of sword dew, hjor- 

doggvar leikr, 446. 
Rain of raven's wine, hregg 

hrafn-vins, 42^0. 
Song from the helm that up- 

riseth, hjalm-rodd, 3o„^. 
Song of the battle, jrimu 

seiSr, 2i3„. 
Spear mote, spjota mot, ^o^^. 
Spear storm, hjor-senna, 

Sword mote, sverSs m6t, 

Sword storm, frsenings grap, 

,hjor-regn, 1235. 

, firemja Jirymr, 

Weapon song, vapna galdr, 


Fight — continued. 

Witch-song of Fiolnir, 

Fjolnis sei^r, 2533,. 
Wizardry sung o'er the war- 
mask, gri'mu galdr, 44,3. 

Gold and golden ornaments : 
Fair flame of hands, mund- 

ar fagr-viti, 5I5. 
Fire of the perch of the 

falcon, eldr oglisstettar, 

Fire that abideth in the 

fetter of earth, fyr fold- 

ar fjotra, 2i\^^. 
Flame, by the lathe that is 

fashioned, lauSar leygr, 


Flame of the sea-flood a- 
roaring, gjalfr-eldr, 

Flame that is hanging from 
fair limbs adown, li^ar 
hanga leygr, 69^. 

Lathe-fire, lauS-hyrr, 213,^. 

Light lying under the fish 
road, ly-brautar Ijos, 

Light, that wrist beareth, 
alnar leiptr, 435. 

Moon of the ocean, lagar 
mani, 2425. 

Rhine fire, Rinartjorr, 1565,,. 

Sea-flame, haf-leygr, 107,6. 

Stall, whereon lieth the ser- 
pent, jarp-stallr, 253,5. 

Sun, that gleams in the isle 
belt, sol Siggjar linda, 

Treasure of Draupnir, 

Draupnis skattr, 74,^. 

Index III. 


Gold and golden ornaments — 
Wildfire of waves, oldu eldr, 

Wrist-flame, eimr li'Sar, 225^. 
Grave : Earth-gash, jar^ar ben, 

Hand : Ness, whereon hawk 
sitteth, hauka nes, 4233. 
Perch of the falcon, oglis 
stett, 69,6. 

Head : Hair's hall, hadds holl, 

Heir : Heirship wearer, arfnyti, 

Helmet : Gold-bristled fight- 
boar, gull-byrstr val- 
goltr, 62,„. 
Hat of the god's son, the 
deft of the song, hottr 
bragar Md^a, 373^. 

Man, cf. Warrior : 

Ash-trees that bear about 
the moon of the ocean, 
askarlagar mdna, 242^.5. 

Balder, that heeds the dear 
lair of the dale-fish, 
hirSi-Baldr d^rreitar 
dalreySar, 226^. 

Gods of the iron, fsarns 
i-esir, 39,,. 

Hider of hoards of the fire 
that abideth in the 
fetter of earth, foldar 
fjotra fyr-leynir, 2385.,„. 

Staves of the flame by the 
lathe that is fashioned, 
stafir lauSar leygs, 


Man — continued. 

They that gather the gain 
of the snow-drift abid- 
ing, where high upon 
the ness the hawk sit- 
teth, hauka-ness drifu 
hir^i-njotar, 4232.33. 

They who waste the flame 
of Morn, ])rj6tar Mar- 
nar vita," 1061. 
Men, specially alluded to : 

Arnkel : Warder of the 
wizard-song over the 
war-mask, geymirgrimu 
galdrs, 44,8. 

Biorn: Grove of battle, 
vig-lundr, 10 731. 
Herder of yoke-beasts of 
the sea-flood, haf-viggs 
hir^i-]3ollr, 107^1.3^. 

Illugi : Fir of the ice-ridge, 
follr fremja svells, 31,3 
— rather: F. of the 
ridged icicle, a difficult 
kenning, the sense of 
fremjar being un- 
known; cf. Sword: Ice- 
Staff of the song, from 
the helm that upriseth, 
hjalm-raddar stafr, 30^^. 
Warrior that feedeth the 
swart swallow's brother 
that flits o'er the fight, 
fse^ir d61g-sv61u barma, 

Snorri : Chief that up- 

reareth the kin of the 

storm-queans, hreggs- 

kvanar kyn - frama^r, 


The Saga Library. 

Men, specially alluded to — 


Snorri: Feeder of swans of 

wound-wave, greddir 

svana sara dyn-baru, 



Framer of fight-pith, j)rek- 
stserir, 17O30. 

Rhine fire's waster, tynir 
tjor-Ri'nar, 1562,. 

Wakener of law-wrong, 

vekjandi lograns, 3828- 

Stir: Slayer of tarrying, 

bilgronduSr, 70.3, i.e. 

man of prompt action. 

Those hardening the on- 
rush of All's high wind, 
Ala el-her^endr, 70,3.20. 
Thorarin : Flinger abroad 
of the flame of the 
sword-storm, fleygi-arr 
frsenings graps fiira, 

Ring's lord (lit. bearer), 

o^aldraugr baugs, 40^^. 

The son of my father, i.e. 

me, mi'ns fo^ur sveini, 

Thorbioryi : He who slayeth 
the fire-flaught flaming, 
myrSir mor^fiirs, 37^3. 

One well learned in driv- 
ing Rakni's dear horses, 
kennir Rakna kunn- 
faka, 40,5.30. 

Praiser of war-god, hselir 
hjaldrs goSs, 37,^. 

Seeker of onrush of anger, 
soknar ssekir, 373^. 

Son of the war-god that 
wieldeth the bitter-sharp 

Men, specially alluded to — 

scathe of the board of 
the battle, Mo^i bor«a 
remmi-skd^s, 4o^^.,8. 

Thorbiorn : Warrior that 
wafted the gold, au^- 
vorpu^r, 42,0. 
Watcher that wardeth the 
way of the spear, gey- 
mir geira stigs, 393,. 

Thorod Scat-catcher : Stirrer 
of storm of the battle, 
valdr vi'g-balkar, 74,^. 
Waster of warflame, hri^ar 
hyr-lestir, 74,0. 

Thorod Thorbrandson : 

Shaker of the snow on 
the hair's hall, = silvern 
ornaments, hristir 

mjallar hadds hallar^ 

Vernmnd : Feeder of the 
flame of the god of the 
field where the corpses 
lie fallen, niS-brse^ir 
asar valfallins nas, 39,.5. 
Shearer of shards from 
the wildfire of Odin, 
Hropts hyr-skerSir, 

Wealth tree, au^ar follr, 
Vigfus : Feller of fight-boar 
gold-bristled, veltirhins 
guU-byrsta val-galtar. 

Fight-god, bo^-NjorSr, 
Mouth : Doom-hall of dooms, 
daemi-salr d6ma, 38,. 

Index II L 


Outlawry : Lot of war-beset 
wandering (over the 
land), hljota rostusamt, 


Poet : God's son, the deft of 
the song, bragar MoBi, 


Raven : Battle fowl, lit. 

Leifi's mew, Leifa mar, 


Choughs of the war-maidens, 

sigrfljdSa gj6^ar, i yo,^. 

Corpse goslings, na-gogl, 

Hugin's son, Hugins ni^r, 

Swans of wound - wave, 

svanir sara dynbaru, 

Swart swallow's brother that 
flits o'er the fight, dolg- 
svolu barmi, 3O31. 

Wound fowl, sara orri, 100^. 

Wound mews, ben-skdrar, 


Ring : Worm, that about the 
arm windeth, arm linnr, 


Sea : Drift of the fair-be- 
stroked courser of Ati, 
fonn fagr-strykvins Ata 
mars, 2253.^. 

Fetter of the earth, foldar 
fjoturr, 238„. 

Isle belt, Siggjar lindi, 69,^. 

Swan - field, svana fold, 

Seafarer : Who speedeth the 
steeds of the streams 
of the ocean, hleypir 
hlunns - hesta rasta, 

Leaders of sea-wain, lei^- 
endr haf-rei^a, ryo^g. 
Serpent : Dale-fish, dal-reySr, 

Shield : Battle-cloud, hjaldr- 
sky, 40^. 

Battle-tent, vig-tjald, 38,. 

Board of the battle, (▼%-) 
bor^, 40,8. 

Board of the corpses, hrae- 
bor^, 222,4. 

Fight - board, sigr - borS, 

Holme of the helm-wolf, 

holmr hjalm - fenris, 

Lime-board, red, rau^ lind, 

Light . . . keel of the rim 
of the war-board, hleypi- 
kjdll randa, 226,0, i.e. 
the shield is imagined 
as a quickly tacking 
(shield-shaped) craft. 

Moon of the vikings, 
vikinga-mani, 42,3. 

Race-course whereon the 
sword runneth, log^is 
skei«, 253,5. 

Roof-sun of Odin, jjekju- 
sunna Gauts, 5 1,. 

Way of the spear, geira 
stigr, 393,. 
Ship : Fair-bestroked courser 
of Ati, fagr-strykvinn 
Ata marr, 225,. 


The Saga Library. 

Ship — co7iUnucd. 

Raknir's horses, Rakna hest- 

ar, 403,. 
Sea wain, haf-rei^, 17O28. 
Steed of the drift of the fair- 
bestroked courser of 
Ati, fakr fagr-strykvins 
Ata mars fannar, 2253.^. 
Steeds (ht. roller-steeds) of 
the streams of the 
ocean, hlunns - hestar 
rasta, 1064. 
Yoke-beasts of the sea- 
flood, haf-vigg, 107^1..,. 

Silver (ornamental) : Snow- 
drift abiding on the 
ness, where the hawk 
sitteth, hauka - ness 
drifa, 423^.33. 

Snowstorm : Woe of the 
woodland, viBa va, 
loy^g. The reading 
" vi^a vra " is not war- 
ranted by the MSS., 
and the interpretation, 
" latebrae silvarum," 
out of question, the 
spot referred to being 
a woodless dead wil- 

Spear : Chisel of wounding, 
unda andvaka, 40^. 
Opener of war-shield, and- 
vaka randa, 3I1,. 

Sword : Bane of the battle- 
tent, vigtjalds va^i, 


Bitter-sharp scathe of the 
board of the battle, 
borSa remmi - sko^, 

Sword — continued. 

Blood-reed, dreyra reyr, 

Corpse worm, val - naSr, 


Fire of the witch-song of 
Fiolnir, f^r Fjolnis 
sei^s, 2533,. 

Fish of the fight-board, sigr- 
bor^s sei^r, 253,5,. 

Flame of the fight, hjaldrs 
eldr, 41,8. 

Flame that provideth the 
mouthful of Munin, 
eldr Munins tuggu, 

Helm-rod, hjalm-skiS, 234,. 

Ice - ridge, or rather, 
" ridged." rimmed 
(fluted?) icicle, i.e., the 
icicle-formed weapon 
with a rim running 
along the back (or, a 
ridge running down the 
middle of the blade?), 
premja svell, 31^3. 

Light of the roar of the 
battle, gnfljomi, 393,,. 

Light gleaming lime of the 
moon of the vikings, 
fran lind vikinga mana, 

Oar of the wounding, sara 

ar, 40,. 

Warflame, hri^ar hyrr, 

Well - proven falcon, the 

shield - tearer, reyndr 

randa valr, 2333,.33. 
White wand of shields, hvit- 

vondr randa, 2262. 

Index III. 


S word — continued. 

Wildfire of battle-storm, eldr 

unda jalms, ioo„. 
Wildfire of Odin, Hropts 

hyrr, 41.. 
Wound - wand, ben-vondr, 

Wound - worm, und-linnr, 


Temple priest : Stems of the 
blood that is blessed 
for the gods, hlaut- 
vi^ir, 4I5. The plural 
used to avoid too 
pointed an allusion to 

Thor : Bane of the troll-wives, 
gifrs grand, 156,6. 

Thorsness : Ness of the bane 
of the troll-wives, gifrs 
grand-nes, is^^s-^e- 

Troll-woman : Storm-quean, 
hreggs-kvan, 31,5. 

Valkyrja : Goddess who under 
the battle-cloud slaugh- 
tered men chooseth, 
hjaldr-skyja Gefn, 4O5.6. 

Warrior : Gravers of the songs 
of the battle, bei^endr 
))rimu sei^a, 2i3„, 

Bidder of the lathe's fire, 
lau'S-hyrs boSi, 2131^. 

Deft in dealing with roof- 
sun of Odin, sann- 
vitendr fekju - sunnu 
Gauts, 5I3. 

Dwarf-folk, or rather, fight- 

Warrior — continued. 

dwarfs of Odin, sokn- 
ni^jungar jjri^ja, 39,,. 

Feeders of battle-fowl (lit. 
of Leifi's mews), Leifa 
ma-reifar, 100,0. 

Feeders of fight, gunn- 
norungar, 2333. 

Friend of heath-prowlers, 
heiSingja vin, 225^. 

God of the wound- worm, 
Ullr undlinns, 213,3. 

Gods of the glaive, hjor- 
Nir^ir, 39^. 

Gods of the iron, isarns 
^sir, 39,„. 

Lime-tree, upbearer of board 
of the corpses, hlynr 
ritar hraeborSs, 222^^. 

Raisers of riot of spear- 
mote, spjota m6t-eflan- 
dar, 70,7. 

Ruler of the light once a- 
lying under the fish- 
road, valdandi ly- 
brautar Ijoss, 2i3,5.,6. 

Stem of the battle-craft, 
vi^r boS-gorSar, 2423. 

Stems of the sword-storm, 
|)remja frym - viSir, 


Tholes of the fire of witch- 
song of Fiolnir, Fjolnis 
seiSs fyr-J)ollar, 2533,. 

Those urging the opener of 
war - shield, svellendr 
and-voku randa, 31,^. 

Tribesmen that lift up the 
sword, log^is kind, 

War-stems, the wielders of 


The Saga Library. 

shield, hjald-vi^ir, hal- 
dendr skjalda, 392J. 
Woman : Fair isle of the wrist- 
flame, li^ar eims Auma, 

Field of the necklace, fold 

mens, 224^6. 
Ground whereon groweth 

the fair flame of hands, 

grund fagr-vita mundar, 

Wealth-bearing board, auSs 

brik, 22430. 
Wealth-bearing stem, auS- 

rasr, 224^4. 
Women, specially alluded to : 
Asdis : Fir of the fire of the 

perch of the falcon, 

fella ells oglis st^ttar, 


Goddess of bright beakers, 
hvitings Hlin, 6g,s.,g. 

Goddess that beareth the 
flame that is hanging 
from fair limbs adown, 
Ger'Sr li^ar hanga 
leygjar, 695. 

Ground of the sun that 
gleams in the isle-belt, 
Siggjar linda solgrund, 

Ground strewn with 

j ewels, hodd - grund, 

Warden of the board of 
the chess-play, hiins- 
vangs hirSi-dis, 6910. 
And: Goddess of linen, 
hor-Ger^r, 42„. 

Women, specially alluded to 
— continued. 
Aud: Goddess of weaving, 

gu^vefjar Hlin, 4Xj. 
Thicrid : Coif- field, the 
snow-white (of women), 
fann-hvit foldu-fold. 

Fir of the worm that about 
the arm windeth, arm- 
linns ]jella, 73^5. 

Fir-tree that beareth the 
fells goodly-fashioned, 
)?oll aSal-bjora, io6g.^. 

Gem-bestrewn table, men- 
brik, 1053,. 

Goddess of the sea-flame, 
hafleygjar Hlin, 10716. 

Goddess of wild-fire of 
waves, Njdrunn oldu 
elds, 107,0- 

Goddess, the guard of the 
linen, falda geymi-Bil, 

Ground of the golden 

strings, gull - strengs 

grund, 73,,. 

Table of jewels, auS-brik, 
1 0613. 

Valkyr of flame of the sea- 
flood a-roaring, Gunnr 
gjalfr-elda, 106,5. 
Thorod's foster - mother : 
Goddess of clanging 
gold, Ger^r hins gjalla 
gulls, 176,,. 

Gold-bearing hill (lit. 
bench), au^ar-fopta, 




UK 000 660 288 2 



258 0906 

3 12100